How intently do we pay attention to our clients' subtle signs, signals or tells ? Working with one of my new clients I was going through cues of our exercise. Cue 1,2 and 3 were well accepted, but number 4 there was a shift in facial expression, followed by a subtle verbal recount of the cues by my client. Looking back this had happened in previous exercises in this session, it took me a few minutes to gather all the incoming information on movement, positioning and the whole situation. These are things that can make a big difference in the results of each session, and client results. This is why we assess our clients constantly, not just when they have a heavy load in their hands or on their back. From the moment they walk in the front door it starts. Watch how they take their shoes off, how they are walking, even how they carry their gym bag. Watch their eyes and facial expressions and body language. Do they look focused, are they shifty, stressed or look rushed, in these circumstances we may need to ease into today's session or maybe the signals mean we dig deep as fast as we can safely do so, there are no rules we can just apply to everyone, because everyone is different. The tells, signals or signs from one person can mean slowdown or it's too heavy and a similar tell from another person may mean I'm ready to rock followed by I'm completely done. To make our job even more fun some of these can mean different things on different days for the same person based on their mindset, their food intake or many other factors. Learning each client as you go, how they respond, how they react in each particular situation, the subtle tells can come from anywhere so being engaged should really be day 1 stuff for a coach. This is the job, it's a puzzle, and they can be simple or a million pieces, but these are the puzzles that can break plateaus, PRs or even change lives when they are solved. It's up to us as coaches to put the time, effort and attention into each and every client session, there is far too much at stake to be coaching clients with a haphazard approach. If your coach is just throwing random exercises and increasing weight while counting to 10 over and over, It may be time to reconsider your goals and how badly you want to accomplish them, or reconsider who you're spending your hard earned money on and what value they are providing you. Every coach is different, every client is different, creativity and problem solving, with the hint of individual personality. Now that is what makes client & coach relationships something that will go beyond reps, sets or the weight on the bar. Restoring Movement to maximize results is our approach, this doesn't mean you're injured or damaged, it means we are focused and we create intent based programs, and we apply those programs while adapting to the day's variables. While teaching every client what they want to know, and need to know so they can take training and life to the next level..
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