Check Mindset at the Door

Check Mindset at the Door

Mastering the art of coaching students takes many years of experience. Working primarily with smart professionals requires a deeper level of insight due to the many life stressors that are typically present in life. The stress of kids, siblings, finances, significant others, parents, workplace, health, self-esteem, and body image represents a short list of stressors that make life…life.
The easy road to coaching is to offer a workout, ramp up the energy, and lean on your stellar personality to provide value to your students. That may work for some and more than likely is the case for most. But, what if you want more from yourself as a coach and more from your students? Connecting with each student is essential and can best be done within manageable groups of less than 10. Being present with intention and listening are crucial to reaching your coaching potential. Coaching your best happens when you personalize the session for each client.
We provide pathways to reach that potential when we commit to providing the highest quality service possible. One path is communication. When you connect with a student, you can dive deeply into their mindset to personalize each session. In my experience, a coach must practice intention, listening, and executing modifications.
Checking student mindset at the door begins with the one question I never fail to ask each student before each session.
“How are you going to progress today?”
That’s it! That is the magic question and path of communication that brings you to a deeper level, allowing you to check mindset at the door.

*A side note to consider is that you must have a framework that will enable that type of depth and connection. Look for my future blog on “The Money Model” for more on that framework.

Once you have the framework for progress, you can condition your students to look for progress. As they enter, you can chit-chat and gradually introduce the question “How are you going to progress today?” Your listening skills should now kick into overdrive as you take in what the student is about to say and how they say it.
Here are five response examples:

  • “I feel great, and I’m looking forward to crushing the session today by increasing the loads from last week.”
  • “I didn’t get any sleep last night, and I’m tired.  I’d like to feel better and more energized at the end of the session.”
  • “Today is my weigh-in day, and I’m looking forward to seeing a 1-2 pound weight loss.”
  • “I’m nearly ready to get out of Milestone #11, so I would like you to take a look at my Turkish Get Up and help me improve my form.”
  • “I’m experiencing some back discomfort.   What would you recommend?”

As you can see, each response requires a different approach to personalize and deliver progress for each student. Making modifications based upon their response is a compelling skill that your students will appreciate. When your clients are conditioned to look for progress, there is more value in the service and more commitment to devote the time to exercise.
Following the session, you can ask the question “what progress did you experience today?”
That entirely takes the experience full circle with your students and helps them identify the immediate benefits of movement. When you dive deep into a mindset, you can focus on process and the micro steps that bring your students closer to their self-defined performance goals.

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