Anatomy of a Trainer

I’ve been blessed to meet some fantastic fitness professionals over the years. Despite the diversity out there, I’ve come to believe they all share a few things in common.

It’s not our size, style, coaching methods, belief systems or programming.
It’s not the way we carry ourselves, the way we communicate or motivate. It’s certainly not our methods, licensing agencies or backgrounds.
It’s a culmination of our experiences, training and mentors.
It’s in the way we see the person across from us.
It’s in how we bring out the best in that person.
It’s how we make other peoples impossible, possible.
It’s how we knock the “t” off the word “can’t”
You could even say it’s in our blood.

I say in our hearts.

I believe good trainers honestly care about the person in front of them and genuinely want to help you. The good ones out there are far more than just manners and physique.

Since there are no physical prototypes to reference, if I could build an awesome trainer they would have the following features….

A thick skin: The thick skin serves as the armor the trainer will need. Good trainers will always draw critics take take their shots at you. The weak part is most of these critics fail to ever pull the trigger. If you note, they rarely seem to be going anywhere themselves. Although I’m a few years to old for the word I find it highly appropriate, when was the last time you saw a “hater” doing better than you?   Along with the critics you will meet clients that will test your resolve in numerous ways. The thick skin prevents critics and challenges from getting under it.

A big heart: The pump of life which pumps strength to the body and mind. The heart is a muscle; use and flex it to your full effect like any other muscle. That heart will be needed when your STRENGTH has to overpower the perceived or very real weakness (and possible limitations) that another person holds. You may not be afraid of a barbell, can you put that STRENGTH into a person that is? Knock the T off the “can’t” and make the impossible, possible.

A strong back: Because there will be days that you will have to carry someone into victory. Ideally the trainer is surrounded by others with strong backs and big hearts.

A genuine and huge smile: Everyone loves a huge smile, except for the critics and haters because it gets under their thin skin and there lack of heart can’t take it. Make sure to smile at them often.

Eyes that catch the small details. The trainer is always watching for that ONE thing. It could a split second of athletic awesomeness or the split second that separates success from failure, or failure from catastrophe.

Fast Feet.  Because fast feet are happy feet.

An auto-improving brain: While watching the client with those sharp eyes, the trainers’ brain is always in “assessment mode” asking “How can I make this better?”

“This” could be the clients’ performance.
“This” could be the trainers coaching cues.
“This” could be the moments right after victory or defeat.
Truthfully your “This” could be anything.

A stellar pair of vocal cords with a slight delay: A good trainer listens.  When the client speaks, the trainer listens, pauses, thinks, pauses and then speaks back.  When the trainer doesn’t know, they admit it and get back to the client with the information in a timely manner.  The trainer has the ability to know how, and when to alter the volume of their voice, which words impart the greatest effect on another human being, when to be supportive and when to be a b@st@rd. This depends on how tough it is to remove that letter “T” and what the auto-improving brain and big heart agree upon as the best method to achieve success.


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