I had a conversation yesterday about how to come up with a training program for a group of people. My response came from something i have been thinking about for a while now and it has to do with the trainer or coaches experiences. Over time each coach or trainer will have a style. That style is heavily influenced by their experiences. For example i am a weightlifter and subsequently all of my clients do some weightlifting. If you don’t believe me, ask them… haha!
I would be ineffective as a swim coach because i swim like a rock and don’t have an extensive background in competitive swimming outside of sleeping on the lifeguard stand at 530am. The point is that it would be irresponsible as a coach not to pass someone off that was looking for something outside of my experiences.
It is important to seek new experiences as a coach so you are more versatile. I have attacked this problem from two sides and there is a clearly better and worse way to do it.
Better: Find a new category of exercise/training/sport, find a coach yourself and learn from their experiences and get some new ones yourself.
Worse: Pretend to be an expert and learn as you go guiding someone through a long and winding road to their goals.
Like i said there is clearly a better way to gain new experiences to be used in your coaching. My recommendation is to go find someone that knows very well what you want to accomplish and sit at their feet and soak up all their knowledge. Ask questions and observe how they handle certain situations and you will be a better coach for it.