Coaching compliancy, is it really necessary?

Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

You hear this phrase a lot in the fitness industry. I also receive quite a few emails from personal trainers asking me how we get our clients to comply with our programme? Let me explain...

If someone isn't compliant, they're completely resistant to your programme, rules or guidelines. When someone won't comply with something, it's simply because they don't want to do it. So to make someone compliant, you have to somehow stop them being resistant to your coaching. Now there are ways of doing this, but it gets well into the realms of psychological coaching. When we're hired to get people in the best shape of their lives, should we really be spending the first month, almost persuading them to stick to the programme?

I've always been a firm believer in only doing things I want to do (you only have to ask my family!), I actually think it's a lot smarter this way! When I spend time doing things I don't want to do, it's blocking up my time from doing things I do want to do.

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I'm far better at achieving something once I've clearly committed my self to it, and I know how much I want it. I work hard, because I enjoy the rewards it brings. I train hard and eat clean, because I enjoy the results I see in my physique. I make time for my family and friends because it makes me happy. So how does forcing yourself to do something, when you don't actually want to do it, make any sense? A non compliant client, will always be the one moaning about the programme, rather than being hugely excited about their future and the positives of being in shape.

There are trainers who thrive on working with non compliant clients, they love spending more time talking than they actually do training. If you're a results based coach, it's not too much to expect all of your clients to arrive at your gym ready to be compliant and in the right mindset to train hard.

I can safely say that almost all of our clients are 100% compliant. They may have taken a few months to decide if they're ready to work with us, but that delay will have allowed them time to get in the right mindset. When I receive emails or calls from prospective clients, compliancy is always one of the first subjects I bring up. I don't think it's a wrong approach, it's one that ensures all my team have a client list of people working their arses off to change. If someone isn't ready to work with us, I tell them.

It may be a different approach to others, but the way we work ensures our clients arrive ready to comply with our programme right from the start.

If you're a coach who enjoys the psychological journey with clients who don't want to change, but say they do, then good on you. If you want to get working with compliant clients right from the start, then adopt a stricter approach to the interviews you do with prospective clients.

So you see it, we don't actually have to coach compliancy to our clients, they arrive all ready to go!

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