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  • Writer's pictureDarren Tebbenham

Empowering people to change, or not...

Our Role as Coach.

Our role as a coach is to empower. To empower is to foster self-motivated independent behaviours that last. That is help our clients take responsibility and own their own health and fitness, indeed, their own lives. Our role as coach is so much more than just getting people fit!

What would it be to disempower clients?

To disempower would be to take responsibility yourself for your clients outcomes; to take away their responsibility to change; to limit self- motivated independent behaviour.

This would show up when a client seemingly remained passive in the change process; helpless and unresourceful. And this can be a real risk in personal training.

The reality is most of the work for a client to accomplish great results and, of course, maintain them is done between their sessions with a personal trainer. It is the cardio that needs to be completed every day. It is the active lifestyle replacing an inactive lifestyle and, of course, their daily eating and drinking behaviours that creates results.

Putting someone on an eight-week fitness regime and accompanying meal plan does not automatically create empowerment. Indeed, it can distract from it. Sure, if a client sticks to the plan they can experience results, but without empowerment all that changes are behaviours. And once completed, the likelihood or their old engrained habits pulling them back to their old ways remains high.

Instead, when we create a client-centred approach where a client first discovers their why and, is encouraged through questioning and active listening, further probing and follow-up to actually deal with what truly holds them back - this is empowerment.

When we ask not tell; listen more than we say and build empathy and trust, clients explore for themselves who they are and why they must change. This is as opposed to merely following the instructions of their trainer - and this is empowerment.

A personal trainer may focus on clients' behaviours, A coach coaches the person changing their behaviours. This difference is key.

SMILE stands for S- slowdown, M- motivate, I- inspire, L- listen, E- empower.

Here's a video to explain -

Check it out.

Darren T

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