I listened to a great video by John Beradi, PhD, CSCS from Precision Nutrition entitled The Compliance Solution. Below is a summary of what he spoke about in his video, and accompanying article.
He started by saying that coaching people through their struggles with compliance isn't always easy. However, it's not a challenge reserved strictly for the fitness professional.
He went on to say that doctors report embarrassingly low compliance rates when prescribing life-saving heart disease, diabetes and cancer medications. In fact, the latest data suggests that patients take these medications only half the time.
Half the time is a scary statistic, and "also a little intimidating since as fitness professionals we are asking our clients to do much more than swallow a magic pill. Exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes; they're a bit more involved."
To be a life-changing fitness professional, he said you need to take responsibility for both the advice you offer and your client's ability to follow that advice. Yes, even those 'difficult clients'.
When faced with difficult clients, many of us throw up our hands, "it's not our fault!" we exclaim. We can only provide the education. It's our client's job to do the rest. Right?
Well, not exactly he says.
What's missing from our programs isn't a mystery nutrient or exercise protocol. What's missing is something called change psychology.
Real world coaching requires a mix of psychology and physiology. And his thought was that psychology is perhaps the more important of the two.
For most clients their biggest stumbling block is compliance, the ability to do what they know they should do. So, understanding how to help them overcome their limiting factors is the most important skill he thinks you can have as a coach.
Helping clients change, using the best practices of change psychology, is the only way to have long term success in this field. In other words, helping clients take the next positive step in their lives - and knowing what steps are right for them - is key to becoming a life-changing fitness professional.
His words, but I have to agree.