Coach and Personal Trainer Differences
Why do I call myself a coach and not a personal trainer?
Well, there are a couple reasons. The first and most apparent one to me is that the word coach is just more encompassing while trainer is more specific. Furthermore, coaches can have a dual role as a coach and as a trainer, but someone hired on as a trainer is more specific. So let’s dive into the difference between coaching and training.
Coaches and personal trainers both play a big role in the performance of an athlete or aspiring athlete. Imagine a Basketball team. The teams has one head coach and generally an assistant coach, and in the collegiate and professional level we see lots of other staff, including personal trainers.
A Personal Trainer's Role
The personal trainer is there to dial in the specific body work that a given player needs to perform to add to the function of the team. His task is to make that player, or group of players, into the best asset for their current position. For instance, a power forward will obviously need to work on power, jumping, and strength in his core, whereas a point guard will need more agility work and speed.
A Coach's Role
A coach on the other hand is there to orchestrate and organize the players based on the given and respective strengths that they have been fine tuning with their personal trainers. The coach helps the players to exploit those strengths and capitalize on the hard work they have been doing with their personal trainers. The coach continues his work by helping the players to tap into and recognize their strengths in real world situations and in times that they feel they can’t go on. Furthermore, it is the coaches job to create an atmosphere of success within the team, which involves an extensive understanding and training in organizational psychology and counseling teams.
My Experience and Expertise
This is where someone like myself comes in. On top of my extensive training in the science of exercise and fitness I also have 5+ years working as a mental health counselor and I’ve worked with a variety of individuals ranging youth with drug and alcohol addiction as a behavior change specialist and residential counselor to people with severe mental health issues as a vocational rehab specialist and case manager. In addition, to fine tune some of my coaching skills (as there is also a difference between coaching and counseling) I have attended extensive training as a health coach, a life coach, and a recovery coach. I utilize all of these in a given session with a client, which may explain my premium cost, but it is generally worth it for those willing to invest in their health.
A real life example:
David came to me in a downward spiral. Stress was adding up in life while his health was winding down, but he didn’t know where to start. He came to me for training and as such I began working with him as a trainer. I make it a point to never press my other specialties onto a client, unless they signal the need for it. He knew he wanted to get into better shape, but he had no idea about the other lifestyle changes that were linked to his poor physical condition. Naturally, as I began training him it became apparent to him that if his physical side of life was one teammate of his being then he would need a coach to help coordinate the other aspects of his life. Therefore, he asked about my services as a life coach.
Not only did his fitness improve, but his after a few months of work he found greater stress management, job performance, life satisfaction, diet, sleep patterns, and even more depth in social relationships. But it did cost him. It cost him a high monthly fee for about 6 months and a lot of hard work. But, in the long run, it has saved him greatly. Now he has been training without a trainer for two years and he has also avoided the costs associated with potential medical problems he was facing when he first met me (elevated cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and obesity).
Long Term Savings from Hiring Me as a Coach?
The sheer amount of money David is saving on long-term medical treatment for cardiovascular health, diabetes, and obesity is just staggering. For instance, average medical costs for a life after a diabetes diagnosis is over $16,000 a year and since he was only 45, and assuming he lived to 80, then his lifetime savings of 6 months with me as a coach adds up to $640,000!! Meanwhile, the typical heart attack costs about $38,000 and I was much less than that! I’m sure if you ask David today if it was a wise investment that he would have no doubt. In fact here’s what he has to say:
“It’s exactly what I was seeking, and much more. The workouts provide the challenges I need to help me achieve my strength goals, while the coaching pushes me to explore areas of wellness beyond just the physical.”
- David S
It’s for outcomes like this that I have a passion for what I do!
Now taking clients online and in-person in Palm Beach County: See his coaching page here!