August 20, 2020
4 Reasons That Coaches Need a Coach
WRITTEN BY Shayna Dunitz

This is a guest post written by Central Athlete client and River City Strength Coach Dan Jackson.

Of all the successful people you look up to, how many have achieved high levels of health and wealth without help from outside guidance and support? I’m talking about no formal education or tutelage of any kind. 100% self-made.

There is a high probability that the answer for most of us is “zero to none”.


Look back at history and you will find that one of the core abilities that allowed humans to thrive was mimicry. This ability to copy and learn from others has been used for thousands of years to help our species progress. From medicine and health to fine arts and science, individuals have been aided by the past experiences and knowledge of others.

By definition, coaches are individuals whose job is to instruct or train people to improve at a sport, skill, or academic subject. Relatively recently, the role of coaches has broadened from solely focusing on training soldiers for war or athletes for sport, to helping everyday individuals prepare for the physical and mental stresses of a modernized society.

Personally, my first experience working with a coach was when I started swimming competitively in the 4th grade. Over the course of my swimming career, the impact my coaches had on my life drove me to pursue a career as a personal trainer. Back then, my goal was to lead my clients to those same feelings of fulfillment and vitality.


For the better part of my 8-year career, I operated within the model of 1-on-1 training, working with a wide variety of clients. I did what most coaches do: consume information and chase certifications in an effort to provide more value to my clients, and work long hours in the process.

It became more and more obvious that the 1-on-1 model limited me from building what I perceived to be the desired level of motivation and success within my clients. Those feelings drove me to work harder and study more, which led me to neglect my own training. A nasty cycle that most personal trainers I know get caught in from time to time.

Eventually, I hit a rock bottom. Exhausted from working long hours and worshipping at the altar of CrossFit, newly single and aimless in where I was going as a coach, I was finally at a point where I could swallow my pride and ask for help.

When I reached out to the coaches at Central Athlete, individual design was still a relatively new take on the coach/client model, and it afforded me flexibility and support unlike any I had experienced before in my career. It also became a chance for me to learn from a coach-turned-mentor who had successfully built a sustainable practice of fitness coaching. With his guidance and support, my company, River City Strength, was finally able to deliver on its goal of consistently helping its clients build long-term, fulfilling relationships with fitness.

Regardless of your current situation, the goal of this article is to outline 4 reasons why coaches need coaches:

You Are Human

There are many coaches who have tremendously positive impacts on others but fail to follow their own advice when it comes to training, nutrition, and stress management. They know it’s common to ignore those bad habits but fall prey to their own schedules and biases. Additionally, we sometimes neglect the emotional toll that this job can take on us. Having an experienced coach, someone who can empathize and share in the experience of being in the trenches, is invaluable when you are spending so much energy helping others.

Failure To Launch

All too often, coaches and personal trainers spend an unnecessary amount of time and money consuming information and failing to apply it to their own clients and business models. Because of our own inherent confirmation biases, it’s helpful to have another set of eyes and ears provide additional perspective around our limitations and goals. As a bonus, hiring a coach may afford you more insight into their own methods, experiences, and achievements than what can be found on their social media pages.

Return On Investment

In this industry, and especially in the era of COVID, finances can be the biggest reason holding coaches back from investing themselves and their money in a long-term relationship. Personally, my reaction to any triple-digit price tag is going to be one that leaves me with that dry feeling in the back of my throat. However, when I committed to working with Jesse, I was immediately able to apply what I was learning to my own business model and clientele. That soon turned into happier clients, more referrals, and more clients. Suddenly the service had paid for itself and then some.

Walk The Walk

As I mentioned earlier, our ability to understand and grow from past experiences has gotten us far in life - so then why, as coaches, do we suddenly resort to a “going it alone” mentality when it comes to our own fitness practice? It is not lost on me that the fitness coaching industry has been classically dominated by males who are still pressured to amplify their more masculine traits. Though the landscape of fitness becomes more diverse, our industry, through a combination of scarcity mentality and pride, clings to tradition and can still generate environments that discourage collaboration. Instead of feeling confident and independent, coaches are left with feelings of frustration and isolation. At the end of the day, how can we expect our clients to take us seriously if we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk?

Beyond the reasons listed above, my coach, Jesse, has been a huge influence on River City Strength both philosophically and financially. My own fitness practice has thrived and for the first time in my life, I have felt the freedom to pursue the fitness goals I never felt capable of reaching. Like many coaches, I had a lot of tools but personally lacked the confidence to apply them to myself and my clients effectively. Now, I see consistent progress in my gymnastics skills, strength training, and mental health. In turn, my clients also benefit from a happier, more energetic, and knowledgeable coach. Having a guide and confidant in a coach can help you unlock your own potential as an individual and leader of your tribe.

If you're a fitness coach that wants to take your own health practice to the next level, schedule a FREE strategy session below!


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