The Coach Client Relationship

The Coach Client Relationship

Physique-based sports are unlike other. You can’t compare them to mainstream team sports like football or basketball. You also can’t compare them to individual sports like golf or tennis. Pretty much all sports are based on objective principles. Make a basket, you get points. Score a touchdown, you get points. Get to home plate, get a point. When it comes to bodybuilding, a loose term that includes everything from actual bodybuilding to divisions like Men’s Physique and Bikini, all bets are off. And what’s even crazier to wrap your head around is that it’s not necessarily all about building the body, either. Sometimes what’s needed is more condition or maybe more vascularity. That has less to do with building the body and more to do with caloric manipulation. It’s just a colossal clusterfuck if there ever was one. Some of it is comes down to expertise, but more of it has to do with a coach’s experience with a given athlete, how their body responds, and sometimes, just a little luck thrown in for good measure.

The best coach/client relationships are those that are for the long haul. The longer a coach and a competitor work together, the better. And what’s even more powerful is if the duo have experienced a victory, a glitch, and even a total train wreck. The more situations they go through, the better their chances of moving up the levels of competing are. Experiences help coaches and clients navigate through any storm in the future. Perfect preps are great and all, but what happens when shit hits the fan?

The greatest coaches are the ones who can approach any problem and work diligently to solve it on the fly. Whether we’re talking an amateur who does local shows, a nationally-ranked competitor who’s so close to the pro card they can taste it, or a professional athlete trying to make a name for themselves. The truth is, whether you’re doing the Mr. Maple Street or the Mr. Olympia, chances are you need a coach. But how many coaches is too many?

There really should be one – and only one – actual coach. A “posing coach” or “training coach” sounds cute, but they’re not your actual coach. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen. You may have a posing person, a trainer, a massage therapist and your very own personal chef, but you only have one coach.

Some teams will have two or more. Some big name teams market themselves around one big name who “oversees” a team of coaches. This is crap. This is a money-making scheme that allows competitors to name drop the name of the big coach when in reality they may never even meet that person. That coach who “oversees” the team delegates the actual coaching to a network no-names for a fraction of the prep fee. Bragging rights don’t win shows and they certainly won’t lead you to a pro card. If you hire a coach, that person needs to study YOU, know you, and they have to earn your trust. Unless they give you a reason to second guess them, don’t. And if they do, fire them.

Many times the coach/client relationship goes off the rails because competitors allow others to second guess the person they’re PAYING and supposedly TRUSTING to run the prep. If you’re going to have multiple people doing multiple things, make sure they stay in their own lane. That’s the only way that’s going to work. And it’s not a two street, either.

For example, your posing coach has no business talking to you about your protein intake or supplement protocols. Their job is posing. That said, if your main coach wants to give their two cents about posing – guess what – that’s ok! The main coach has a say on everything because the main coach is the only coach. This applies even if you have an RD. Sure, a registered dietitian knows everything when it comes to what to eat and what not to, but what if your coach wants to chime in? At least hear them out. I can’t tell you whose advice to take, but I can tell you that if your coach wants to be in the conversation, I wouldn’t entirely shut them out.

Not all coaches are great; some coaches aren’t worth your time. Others never get a real shot. If some bonehead is in your DM’s or talking in your ear about how they can get you to turn pro 2-3x faster than whoever you’re working with and you fall for it, that’s a wrap!! I’ll be talking more about this topic on StrengthAddicts LIVE at 6PM EST on StrengthAddicts on Instagram. If you can’t watch it live, I’ll include the replay with this article.