A Case for Coaching

Growing up I had an exceptional basketball coach. I also had an exceptional soccer coach. Actually, Mrs. Flannery was both my soccer and my basketball coach. I loved her and at times I thought hated her. She pushed me, demanded the best of me and encouraged me. She was a great role model for young women, a force to be reckoned with and a compassionate and caring individual. There are many wonderful words and descriptions I could use when talking about Mrs. Flannery, but to me, she was MY COACH. Growing up, sports coaching was the only kind of coaching I had really heard of.

“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” - Bobby Knight

Coaching is a profession that is no longer confined to sports, although there are some amazing sports coaches. For me, Pep Guardiola (who currently manages Manchester City Soccer Club, but more notably for me, Barcelona’s former manager – international futbol for those of you unfamiliar) is one of the best soccer coaches of my time. Other coaches that stand out (again just for me) are Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Tony Dungy in the football world and Pat Riley, Bob Knight, and Pat Summitt in the basketball world. In the world of Life Coaching (or mentoring for some) – John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, and Darren Hardy have made names for themselves and have huge followings.

 A good health coach will listen to you with compassion and empathy, steer you with professionalism and knowledge, and motivate you with optimism and praise.

Now a days, among sports coaches there are also life coaches, business coaches, and health coaches. In my world of health and fitness, health coaching is growing in popularity and for good reason. Just like a sports coach or a business coach, a health coach helps keep you focused on your goals. A health coach is a cheerleader, a guide, a practitioner, and an expert in health and wellness. A good health coach will listen to you with compassion and empathy, steer you with professionalism and knowledge, and motivate you with optimism and praise. A great one is worth their weight in gold.

“When you’re in a situation, you can complain about it, you can feel sorry for yourself, you can do a lot of things. But how are you gonna make the situation better?” -Tony Dungy

Many will say, I don’t need a health coach, I need a personal trainer or a dietician. While the later may be true for various reasons, you may need a personal trainer and/or a dietician, you don’t know what you don’t know. So why hire a health coach? Because all the knowledge you can imagine is already available through modern technology. Any diet you can imagine trying is available through social media. We want a training program, there’s an app for that. We want to know what a burpee or periodization is? Google it. We don’t need more information.

Although many have said it’s 80% what you eat and 20% exercise, I am here to tell you that it has to begin with a mindset. It is 50% mindset, 35% what you eat and 15% how you exercise. We need someone to help us wade through it all, guide us, hold our feet to the fire and cheer us on. A health coach is trained in motivational interviewing, developing self-efficacy and behavior change. They can help you get to that next level of fitness that’s been eluding you for years.

 “It has to begin with a mindset.”

A true mentor in your health journey, a health coach can be a game changer. If you’ve ever struggled with staying on a good path to your best health and fitness levels or if you’ve never quite been able to stick to a good healthy plan for your life, you may do well to at least look into hiring a health coach.

Like a good personal trainer, registered dietician or even sports coach, make sure the one you hire has the proper training. There are a few out there, but only one organization (American Council on Exercise – ACE) is accredited by the National Council on Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which translates - they are recognized by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence as a credential whose holders are competent professionals in the field of health coaching.

 A health coach can help guide you to your best year ever!

Edward Smith-Stanley was quoted as saying: “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” I would expound upon that slightly and say, “Those who do not find time to take care of themselves will have to find time for illness.” Exercise is just one component to the health and wellness puzzle. Eating a healthy diet, exercise, rest, hydration, seeing your doctors, and leaving behind unhealthy behaviors all play a role in your overall wellness. A health coach can help guide you to your best year ever!