Are Coaches a Dying Breed?

“Everything you could ever need to know is online…”

“Why would you be a wellness coach when people can just find the workout templates online?”

“I don’t need a trainer.. My problem isn't knowing what to do… it’s just that I don’t have the time (motivation, discipline can also be used here).”

I’ve heard some variation of these three statements ever since I got into the world of Health, Wellness, and Fitness. I’ll be honest, for the first couple years of training I honestly was scared that these people were correct and that wellness coaches would be a dying profession…

Oh, silly, naive, young Ethan… of course these statements have a degree of truth! There isn’t an information issue and as long as we have the internet there won’t ever be one again! Does this mean that I got into the wrong profession? Absolutely not; what is does mean is that for my first couple years I had a very skewed view of what my purpose as a coach should be. I fell into the antiquated definition of a “personal trainer” (a term I don’t even like to use anymore due to the old perception built around it). The common idea is that you get a trainer simply to tell you what to do, when to do it, and keep you motivated.

While that is absolutely part of wellness coaching, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Coaching is actually more needed than ever! Despite the vast amount of information at the tips of our fingers the average person is unhealthier, unhappier, and more confused than ever! It would seem that a wealth of knowledge has brought about a deprivation of attention. We have been slowly losing our ability to focus on the basics (eating well, building good habits, moving consistently) because we are so tied up in the advances of our time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love to see the technological advances as much as the next person but it is impossible to deny that our tech dependence has begun to cause issues that come along with it! We have been conditioned to rely on our hand-held devices for just about everything to the point where we will pick it up unconsciously of up to 1000 times a week!

Being so highly tethered to these devices has unfortunately seen a decline in both mental and physical health (along with other factors of course). We are unintentionally wiring ourselves for the constant dopamine binge of notifications, likes, shares, messages, etc. that our phone pours into our brains.

So how then does this all relate to the coaching profession? Allow me to digress from my tech rant and connect the two for you. With a deprivation of attention and mindfulness as well as a plethora of habits that are not in the least conducive to health and productivity it is a mighty tall order to break this pattern on your own. This is where wellness coaches come into the picture…

A good wellness coach is not just someone who tells you what workout to do… they should be a teammate in helping you form better habits that will improve your life in the long run. They are your sounding board as well… someone you can trust with your stress and problems… someone you can trust to help you get out of a fog and back to yourself. Sure, along the way they should be helping you learn how to move effectively, how to eat better, and how to stay in shape; but that is simply a slice of the pie. A good coach will help you become the best version of yourself!

With all the confusion, distraction, and uncertainty around us I think it is safe to say that coaches aren’t going anywhere so long as they continue to evolve with the problems of the time and find effective solutions for helping clients to overcome them and reach their goals!

Ethan Chapluk, President and Head Coach, Fueled by Grit

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