There is a new opportunity rearing its head in the field of wellness. It’s called Interim Stage coaching. This is a descriptor related to those people who are seeking to make a change in their overall wellness and set out with the best of intentions… yet they might fall through the cracks, due to a lack of intervention or follow through. This is where the role of the wellness coach is most likely to be useful.
As an example think about someone who has just joined a brand-new fitness club. This club probably has great advertising and marketing to lure people into the club – and in the fitness business, we do a great job at getting these people to join the ranks. We even set them up with an exercise program or program card to walk around with and we might also tell them to do some cardio on a treadmill. But without any follow-up or real planning, the new member is at risk for falling into the interim stage. A client in this phase is often at risk for being “stuck”, just like a new client … or they may have no direction or any idea of where to take their wellness. When a client stays in the interim stage, it means that their motives haven’t been revealed and what they want and need for wellness is probably unknown to them during this time.
But this is where we see another opportunity also rearing its head… which is the joint co-active efforts that can be tapped into among all wellness coaches and personal trainers. Many of us know personal trainers who stamp the moniker “wellness coach” on their business cards, yet have no real background in wellness or understanding of the stages of change. On the flip side, a wellness coach may have no knowledge of programming fitness routines. If given the chance to work together, this relationship could be a match made in heaven.
This amalgamation is just one sign of how health and fitness professionals can work together for the greater good of the client. If you research or follow trends in coaching, you will notice that successful coaches branch out, network, or rely on others in the allied health field to both sustain and support their coaching practice. Therefore it is the role of the wellness coaches to seek out relationships that benefit both their clients and themselves, directly. The bottom line…if you’re a coach, learn new skills to help your clients; if you are a fitness trainer, learn some wellness coaching skills to keep your clients from failing thought the cracks!
Mark Teahan – Director, Spencer Institute