Getting information from your client is an ongoing process. It is also one that is influenced by the type of coaching you are doing. For example, consider the type of interactions used in Lifestyle Fitness Coaching. This style of coaching is involved with learning important pieces of the client’s complete lifestyle and any past exercise habits that they have demonstrated over time. The theory behind this is the belief that programming physical activity routines can be much more effective once the trainer can better understand the client. This understanding also allows for the trainer to make better recommendations related to fitness activities and therefore have a greater probability of enjoyment for the client. If your client comes to actually enjoy an activity they are more likely to incorporate it as part of their lifestyle.
A Certified Lifestyle Fitness Coach (or CLFC) studies the client’s lifestyle. If we consider how we’ve come to understand our lifestyles over time, we see a dynamic trend that is continuously changing – but one originally shaped by milestones in history. At the turn-of-the-century, there was nothing to prove the benefits of maintaining a solid foundation of exercise but there was a growing interest in exploring physical activity as one of the main crossroads of healthy lifestyle. So we have learned a lot up until now. But we have also learned by now that the one-size-fits-all approach to fitness or healthy lifestyle coaching doesn’t always work. Even though science has provided us greater understanding of topics like biomechanics and kinesiology, these criteria alone are not enough for solid program designs. So we dig deeper.
Being able to spend two or three hours per week with the client is great. To also be able to incorporate coaching that is relevant to the client’s specific lifestyle, we have to be able to have intelligent dialogue with clients about matters that can reach into other parts of their lives – especially if they are known to have any sort of effect on their physical activity levels.
There are so many different types of coaches but whatever your definition is we typically view coaches as the ones who are in charge of making decisions and for taking responsibility when either the team or individual fails or succeeds. Coaching and counseling are also comparable, making things even less clear. Normal life dilemmas and adjustments needed for optimal living is generally a function of counseling. It is generally focused on a short-term problem. One of the key differences in coaching when compared to counseling (as well as training) is that a coach will analyze the problem or situation and then coach the client toward that goal and in this way coaching is about providing different options. Despite having significant differences – ranging from collaborative to directive – there are overlapping parts to the two fields that are similar, considering the job duties and job descriptions that are applied to coaches, counselors and trainers having distinct characteristics. Lifestyle Fitness (or Wellness) Coaching is not going to work for every client but most clients will benefit when the coach is able to apply some of the concepts to an overall coaching model used with a client.