Mike Boyle recently put together a great bullet point list on basic tips of being a better coach / profesional / person. I thought the list was excellent and while I didn’t 100% agree with everything I loved the idea of it. So I modified slightly (added and subtracted a couple points), categorized areas of recommendation, and shared with my staff at Athletic Lab. Since many readers of my blog tend to be ‘in the industry’ I thought it would be a good share. And even if you’re not a performance coach, most of the points apply to being better in general:
  1. Personal:
    • Get up early or stay up late…but not both.
    • Stay well groomed….no / minimal facial hair, hair cut and combed, etc
    • Brush your teeth every morning and after lunch. There is absolutely nothing worse than being coached by someone with bad breath.
    • Use deodorant. Body odor is a close second to bad breath.
    • If you train before a session, shower before you coach.
    • Get enough sleep. ‘Enough’ is different for everyone but if you’re tired in class people can tell. A coach caught yawning is an energy drain and is perceived as disinterest even when it might just be fatigue.
  2. Professionalism:
    • Show up for work early. Be at least five minutes early and get to work setting up and making everyone’s life easier.
    • Stay late at work and clean up and set up for the next session.
    • No eating while coaching.
    • Wear clothes that fit and are the same as everyone else on staff.  Stand out with your coaching not your look.
    • Recognize that you are increasingly viewed and / or judged by people from afar who you don not know (via word of mouth, social media, etc). Make sure everything you do presents an image and first impression you would like random people to see.
    • Never ever coach at another coach’s session when you are not scheduled to. It undermines the coach for that session and makes us look unprofessional.
  3. Customer service:
    • Do more than is asked of you every day. Never walk by a wrapper on the floor. If the bathroom is dirty, clean it. People notice extra effort.
    • Care about everything. Nothing is too small. Every client matters.
    • Smile and be welcoming.
    • Show appreciation of our clients…without them we’re all out of a job.
    • Learn names and use them. People love hearing there own name.
  4. Time management:
    • Don’t waste time eating lunch. 30 minutes max. An exception is lunch with a colleague you don’t know well.
    • Don’t waste time on the internet. Time on the Internet is best used for professional development and business-related social media efforts if that is in your job description.
    • Don’t waste time training (do what you need to do and not more)….unless of course, you’re training for something. Then make sure you’re prioritizing time appropriately.
  5. Professional Development:
    • Read 1 hour a day (split between self help and professional development)
    • Attend relevant clinics, symposiums, or coaches education opportunities.
    • Blog or write for relevant outlets. It helps you learn and improves your professional standing as an expert in your field. More importantly, it allows you to contribute to a field rather than just be a leach.
  6. Social:
    • Conditioning with clients is a great bonding experience. Just make sure you’re not also coaching them at the same time.
    • Never discuss business, financials, or in-house issues with clients. Not only is it literally “not there business” but it looks very unprofessional.
    • Never discuss other clients outside of their presence. If someone else brings up another client, never say anything negative. If someone else does, laugh and / or deflect the comment. Not only is it the wrong thing to do, but if a client perceives you are willing to talk badly about others they will likely think you are probably doing the same about them to others.
    • Never date or hook up with a client.
    • Never argue with a client. They aren’t necessarily always right but one bad experience ending up on yelp, google reviews, Facebook or spreading via word of mouth isn’t worth upsetting them and completely undermines all of our efforts at customer service.