Updated: Jun 11, 2021
How to Recognize an Unprofessional Coach
It’s not easy finding a professional fitness coach these days! There are SO MANY online coaching programs and software being marketed to coaches. SO MANY promise to make it easy to manage clients and promise to help coaches be on their way to financial freedom. SO MANY of these do NOT have the client’s specific needs in mind.
How would you feel if you were easily managed and seen as a few more dollars to help someone become financially free?
Here are some great questions and thoughts to keep in mind to help you select a professional coach that has YOUR best interests in mind.
How much time have they invested in becoming a coach? Did they get a degree in a relevant coaching field? Have they obtained professional and accredited certifications? Do they continue their education every year? The more time they invested in becoming a coach, the more qualified they are, and the more time they will invest in YOU! Subscribing to online coaching software only takes a few clicks, and that may be all you get from some coaches.
How much money have they invested to build their coaching business? Do they have an LLC? Are they trademarked? Are they copyrighted? Do they have insurance? Do they have their own website domain? Do they have their own email domain? The more you can see they are investing in their business, the more serious they are taking their business, the more time they will invest in you!
What is the first thing they do when you choose them as a coach? Do they give you their programs and tell you to go? Do they ask you a few questions then give you a canned program? Do they give you several forms to complete (waivers, PAR-Q, client agreement, fitness assessment)? Qualified coaches understand not only do they need to find out your goals, but they need to identify possible risks in achieving them. The last thing a qualified coach wants to do is put your goals or your health at risk, and they mitigate this risk by understanding you and your health.
These are just three areas to look for as you find the right coach for you.
When you look for a professional fitness coach, you should first look at work ethic. A person’s work ethic is a representation of one’s character. A strong work ethic suggests that a person places a high value on producing quality work, as well as respecting others and functioning with integrity. Professionalism is a component of the concept of work ethic, which can be described as an outward display of your attitude toward your job and company.
Professionals are the kind of people that others respect and trust. True professionals possess inner drive, passion and focus, which allows them to establish and achieve their personal and career goals. As a result, with the right set of skills combined with compassion, integrity and a positive mindset, professionals excel in what they do, how they do it and the value they provide.
So, what makes Measure Backwards professional? There are several ways in which we exemplify professionalism each and every day.
Characteristics of Measure Backwards Coaches
We believe that the way you conduct yourself, relate to others and approach tasks all factor into your degree of being a professional fitness coach. Being professional allows us to build and maintain trusting relationships by having a self-awareness of what we say, how we say it, and how we physically present ourselves.
Below are a few of the top characteristics of professionalism that MB is proud to demonstrate while working with their clients and in their daily lives.
Reliability is crucial. Being reliable means that people know that they can trust you to do what you said you will do, when you said you will do it. It also means being consistent with your work and not giving people any unwanted surprises.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates reliability by:
Always following up on requests or questions in a timely manner.
Arriving on time or early for meetings and events.
Producing a consistent quality-of-work.
Responding to issues in a consistent manner.
Being organized and prepared.
Integrity is an important part of being a professional fitness coach because it assures others that you hold yourself to a high standard of morality. Those who have great integrity are honest and ethical at all times. People demonstrate integrity by delivering on their promises and taking responsibility for their actions. They take a proactive approach to challenges rather than waiting for issues to be discovered. The key to integrity is remaining the same person wherever you are.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates integrity by:
Keeping our word at all times.
Avoiding discussing sensitive topics not relevant to the job.
Adhering to all company policies and procedures, even when no one is watching.
Effective communication goes beyond talking and listening. A professional fitness coach with great communication takes into account the situation and the specific person you are in conversation with. Strong communication skills are a must when it comes to articulating clear instructions and information. Additionally, inquiring about others preferred communication channels – text, email, or phone calls – in order to help establish rapport and accountability.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates communication by:
Building rapport and trusting relationships.
Strengthening client motivation and self-efficacy.
Providing clients with education and skill development.
Setting clear expectations.
Listening is an important characteristic of a professional fitness coach as it helps them connect with and learn from others. Being a good listener means focusing on the person who is speaking by not interrupting or responding and just hearing them out. Good listeners play a more passive speaking role in the conversation, but they actively engage with the other person using body language and follow-up questions.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates listening skills by:
Being approachable and present.
Remembering details most would forget.
Keeping an open mind.
Asking relevant follow-up questions.
Having patience is the ability to tolerate waiting and delays without becoming frustrated or agitated. Moreover, it is the ability to remain calm when facing difficulties and adversity. By controlling one’s restlessness and emotions the patient person is able to effectively control their natural impulses that can often lead them astray. Patience is not something we are born with; it is something we consciously do.
The Measure Backwards team of professional fitness coaches demonstrate patience by:
Being empathetic when there are delays, listen patiently and without judgment to understand the causes.
Tailoring coaching techniques to each client.
Bringing perspective that important things are not always urgent things.
Demonstrating accountability shows others you take responsibility for your actions and their results at all times. Accountability requires you to accept your role in mistakes or failures, which can be challenging to do at times. However, this also proves your self-awareness and commitment to honesty and integrity.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates accountability by:
Completing all tasks in a timely manner.
Communicating clear expectations about what needs to be done and when.
Willingly take on responsibility and actively manage it.
Striving to achieve goals.
An expert is someone who is an authority on a particular subject or has mastered a specific technique or skill. Essentially, when you become an expert, you are the go-to person for help or advice. Being a certified professional fitness coach requires receiving yearly continued education credits to maintain a high level of industry expertise. Also, it is important for people to understand their audience when sharing their expertise to effectively communicate information and ensure a clear understanding.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates expertise by:
Staying current on new health and fitness developments.
Creating credible content and resources for clients.
Maintaining active certifications by completing required continuing education credits.
Practicing essential skills often.
People who show consideration for those around them are mindful of the thoughts, feelings and needs of others. Being considerate is simply having the next person in mind, it is remembering to put things back the way you found them, or simply holding the door for the next person who will pass through. When you are considerate of others, you do things with empathy and sensitivity. In other words, it’s simply being nice to people because you want to be, not because it’s what you have to do.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates consideration by:
Being polite and kind.
Empathizing before judging.
Considering other people’s time.
Remaining tolerant and respectful of others and their feelings.
Listening intently to your thoughts and opinions carefully before responding.
Work ethic is something that emanates from within a professional fitness coach. Demonstrating work ethic shows loyalty and commitment by delivering positive outcomes through your work. We prove that we are dependable by our willingness to put in extra effort to meet the needs of our clients.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates a strong work ethic by:
Exhibiting a positive work ethic.
Delivering high-quality work.
Meeting all deadlines.
Organization plays a significant role in helping people achieve their goals. When you are organized, you get a sense of control and it allows for increased productivity by having a clear grasp of what you are supposed to be doing at any given time. Therefore, important details are not missed, and you can make the best use of your time.
The Measure Backwards team demonstrates organization by:
Maintaining clear agendas.
Creating and updating to-do lists daily.
Preparing for tasks by gathering the proper tools and information ahead of time.
What Is Unprofessional?
Unfortunately, there are people in the fitness industry who do not value or strive to be professional. Working with someone who is unprofessional can have a negative impact on your goals and overall experience.
Below are a few examples of unprofessional behaviors that you should avoid when selecting a coach.
Unresponsive – Failing to answer emails or calls in a timely manner.
Blaming Others – Blaming external factors for problems instead of owning up to mistakes.
Not Keeping Promises – Saying something will get done, but it never does.
Being Fake – Fakeness prevents the truth from emerging, which often results in problems being concealed and poor decision making.
Procrastinating – Having too many tasks and not truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task, which results in getting nothing done.
Overpromising – Overpromising is dangerous, because it either creates an abundance of extra work or fail to deliver.
Running Late – Having some reason or excuse of constantly being late is never acceptable.
Cutting Corners – Taking the easy road might save a little extra time and money, but it is usually not the best route to take.
Fail to Connect with Clients – When clients feel that their coach has not put forth a strong enough effort to establish a connection with them, they will likely give up or never fully reach their goal.
All of the qualities associated with unprofessionalism are negative and dangerous to your ability to be successful in accomplishing your personal goals. Do you really want to risk putting your health and wellness into the hands of a fitness coach who is unprofessional?