Do You NEED to Hire a Coach?
I have to start off by saying, as a coach and an athlete, my answer to this will 99.9% of the time be yes – you do need to hire a coach. Now, that’s not to say everyone NEEDS one. I will say that I unequivocally believe that everyone can only benefit from hiring a (good) coach or trainer.
Why? Well the crux of it is that a coach or a trainer is able to tailor and create programming and plans that are specifically based around you and your needs. Just like hiring any professional for a job — you’re paying for their knowledge and expertise. There is a whole heap of information out there, and a lot of it is bull. Sifting through the massive amount of ‘free’ fitness advice floating around on the internet is somewhat similar to hopping on webMD to figure out why your toes hurts and discovering you have minutes to live. There’s no reason you can’t wade through all the bad stuff, but then you have to figure out what type of training and training plans work for you. You have to take into account your unique goals, access to equipment, how much time you can commit, what your ability level is, where to even start, the list goes on…
On top of saving you time and the frustration of all the contradicting information available online, getting yourself a coach provides invaluable support and accountability. Not sure you’re even doing a movement right? Your coach is there to make sure that not only are you performing the movement correctly, but that you also understand why it’s important to move correctly and what exactly is happening in your body. Getting this specific attention and following a customized training program will mean you’re making the most of the time you’re able to commit to fitness and in this day and age, time is precious. If nothing else, you’ll see progress that you wouldn’t otherwise see solely because a coach has the ability to assess, plan, and program training is specifically based on and designed for you. Every athlete, no matter what your level, needs this to continually progress.
A coach can help you learn the fundamentals. I love working with new athletes, because often you are a completely clean slate. This means you don’t have any previously engrained bad habits I need to coach you out of. It’s integral to your athletic progress that you have a coach and a program that really works, it’s a crucial time for you because this will set the framework and foundation for all future movement. This is where you can save yourself time and pain in the future by learning about your body, how it moves, why it moves the way it does, and how to move as safely and effectively as possible. Coaches can also help work with you to establish your goals and put you on the right track to accomplishing said goals.
This is very similar to why fitness newcomers benefit from hiring a coach or trainer. Youth athletes are usually at the very beginning of their fitness journey. Teaching young athletes the fundamentals of movement and how to use their bodies as they move through space is absolutely crucial to their development in the athletic space. A good coach with the right methodology and training will lower the risk of injury and improve performance, keeping youth athletes in their game for longer and with less pain/injuries.
Casual and/or Intermediate Athlete:
Assuming you have the fundamentals down, this is where you really get to be a little more creative and step outside the box with training modalities and concepts. You can begin to progress to higher skill movements, more complex rep/set schemes and really start to hone in on weaknesses and your goals. This specificity and progression is complex and different for every individual, a preset program from the internet isn’t going to give you the personalization you need to see a difference in your performance as you start to get better.
Sport Specific Athlete:
There is a huge difference between performance coaching and sports coaches. I have an athlete who is a world class fencer – I am not a fencing coach, I don’t know anything about it. Obviously my athlete needs their sport coach for the technical and tactical development within her sport. I view myself as an accelerant to the field for them. As I said, my fencing knowledge is slim to none, BUT I do understand the demands of the sport. Knowing that allows me to work backwards to find the key things my athlete needs that will better their movement (and prevent injury) and so improve their training and ability in competition. Performance coaches and trainers can see faults in movements and abilities, then train them in a controlled environment and let their sports coach adjust to fit the sport, without physical limitations!
When you come to this point of your athletic career, it’s a game of 1%. Most athletes are going to have similar base skills at every level, what separates the top level athletes is looking at the margins of their training. The things in their game and training that allows them to have just a little extra edge, or have just a little more staying power, that extra 10 yards of sprinting power. All of that is impossible to do without an intense program that is tailored to you to a T — without that you’ll never get that extra 1%.
Hiring a coach means that, no matter whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned athlete, you get a custom plan just for you. As coaches, we’ve already sorted through the information you’ll find on the internet (plus we have knowledge that isn’t out there on the web) and can make sure that we apply our expertise to your needs and wants.
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