GOOD COACHES KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE, GREAT COACHES DON'T
The single most important factor in producing long term results is adherence. Having access to the best coaches and resources in the business won’t make any appreciable difference if you don’t follow through. I’ve been coaching for long enough to have seen this lack of adherence scenario play out time and time again. Unfortunately the solution most coaches turn to is likely an ineffective one altogether.
The big mistake is that they try to keep their clients accountable. They follow up with them, ask them routinely how their diet is going, schedule in times to follow up and try to offer solutions to help them course correct when they veer off the path.
Most would say these are the main reasons to get a coach. I say they are mistakes to be avoided. Most clients don’t have much experience when they start a program. So at that time, it’s important to be there, offer support and guidance and keep them moving in the right direction. The issue I’m addressing is when the trainer fails to move past this point and remains the babysitter.
Self determination theory is a theory that looks at factors that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. Research guided by this theory "postulate three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness—which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being" (1).
The focus of this article will be with regard to competency and autonomy. When a coach fails to move past the initial stage of increased monitoring the client fails to develop these two critical traits. People need to be intrinsically motivated. If I were to keep tabs on my clients and monitor their every move you better believe