What the Bachelorette Has In Common With Successful Fitness Coaching
I know what you’re thinking.
Is a fitness coach really about to discuss the Bachelorette that I’m thinking of? The one on ABC with roses and a host who appears to have no point in being there and only states the obvious?
And he is a guy?
But does such a person like that actually exist?
The answer to all of those questions is yes. I may be into powerlifting and be male, but I’m also married.
And to be clear, I did not seek out the addiction that I now possess for the drama that this show gives out so freely.
It was forced upon me.
You see, Jess (my wife) watched it a couple of seasons into its existence. Naturally, when we started dating, that led to her making me watch it. I refused each season, but each time, after the 1st episode, I was hooked.
I vividly remember before the start of one particular season that I made it clear that I would not be watching. This was back in our summer college days and we ate off of TV trays.
One night, as I sat down to eat a glorious meal, tucking myself comfortably behind the tray, she turned on the TV and lo and behold, it was “The Bachelor”.
I was stunned at the level of evil genius that had just been displayed with her knowing that I would never get up and leave a meal, especially being at a TV tray, where for some reason I feel its akin to being strapped into a roller coaster.
So what I’m trying to say is that I ultimately gave in and just started watching every episode for the next several years to this day.
I get so into it now that I was compelled to make a tweet about the penultimate episode a few weeks back.
Little did I know that people would think it was so hilarious that it became the most popular tweet of that episode, even getting featured in a Buzzfeed article.
The pride I felt in that moment was disturbing and represented a greater come-from-behind win than moving across the country and opening a gym. I always saw the latter happening. I did not foresee the former in the same way that I did not foresee Luke getting the boot from Jojo when she got to the final 4 guys.
I was in utter disbelief, so much so that I jumped off the couch. That hadn’t happened since the Cavs won the title.
It just didn’t make sense. They seemed like soulmates.
Her reasoning was essentially that he did not say “I love you” when the rest of the guys had. It all started when Robby went unhinged and basically said it getting out of the limo. And then it seemed to domino from there to where it became EXPECTED that they say it sooner than anyone in past seasons had.
And even though Luke was planning to say it at the time when it was more appropriate to say it (after meeting her family), he was put at a disadvantage because Jojo’s expectations had been set way too high. When he made a last-ditch attempt at the rose ceremony and pulled her aside to say it, it was already too late.
If the other guys had slowed their roll, I have no doubts that Luke would have at least made the final 2.
Anywho, once the emotions had died down, it got me thinking about “expectation management” as it relates to the coaching industry. The ability of a coach to manage the expectations of their client is absolutely critical. It’s a skill I’m still developing and making mistakes with each week.
I think it’s actually one of the primary reasons coaches have those clients who just drop out of the program. They don’t really know why they stopped. Maybe they ghosted the coach and just stopped responding to texts/calls. I’ve had that happen.
And while initial thoughts go to, “Were they not getting the results they wanted?” the actual question that should be asked is, “Did I, as the coach, not communicate effectively what was to be expected with how quickly the results would occur based on XYZ?”
From my experience, the latter question usually reveals the correct answers. Because from what I have seen, clients don’t get frustrated about not seeing results. They only get frustrated if you’ve led them to believe that they SHOULD be getting results with everything they are doing.
For example, let’s say you have a new client that likes to use the scale they have at home. They weigh-in once a week.
If you don’t set the expectation that their weight might increase as a result of strength-training and adding lean muscle mass, they are going to be upset at the number on the scale because you haven’t given them reason to believe that a weight increase is normal. In this scenario, Jojo is the coach, Robbie is the number on the scale, and the client is Luke.
In other words, the client can’t be mad at the number. It’s just doing its thing being annoying and unintentionally getting in your head. They can only be mad at the coach for not letting them know that a weight increase is standard.
More than likely, they won’t be entirely open about their frustration until you notice their motivation waning and ask them what’s going on. But, like with poor Luke, at that point, it’s too late. They’ve checked out.
I know it’s weird to think that a client wouldn’t be upset about not getting results. But if the coach educates them on proper lifestyle and nutrition and the client can then recognize what they are doing outside of the gym as not conducive to getting results, then it’s fine. All you have to do is work with the client on strategies to overcome their weak points.
For instance, we have a body fat truck come out to Essers every 3 months to do hydrostatic body fat tests on all of our peeps. One of our athletes had a higher body fat than the time before, but they weren’t upset. They saw the number and stated that they had been doing XYZ and weren’t surprised the number was up slightly.
However, if that athlete had not known what the expectations were as far as losing fat (as we had discussed many times prior), they would have been frustrated and chalked it up to “well, I’m training and not getting results”.
Of course, taking personal responsibility plays a huge role in a client seeing great results, but the expectations need to be set so they understand what that responsibility looks like.
If Jojo had told Luke to be more open with his feelings (at least, the cameras didn’t show conversations regarding this), then Luke probably would have felt empowered to express his love sooner.
But if the expectation isn’t clear, it only leads to getting blindsided by an unexpected result.
As a coach, always be communicating with your clients and make sure that you are on the same page with them. If they are doing something that is taking them away from their goals, don’t be afraid to tell them before working with them on ways to improve. Like any relationship, there has to be an organic component and not everything is going to be laid out on Day 1.
Unlike Luke, you won’t get a forced sit-down with your client after-the-fact, moderated by Chirs Harrison, to get closure.
Take action now!!
Dominate All Life,