The Value of Having One Coach

Does going for coaching presume that we have talent and buy-in as pre-requisites for moving forward?  And if we are lacking in one or both, is immediate corrective action required?  A Coach and his or her players share common goals.  A coach gets to know each individual that he coaches over a period of time.  In my own field of ‘coaching’, athletes develop certain strengths and weaknesses that they need to address in certain stages of their gym programme. The goals the coach and athletes share could be long or short term (for example: losing weight, gaining muscle mass, improve on explosive power or improving on sport specific movements like in Golf etc).  A good gym instructor/coach helps athletes to achieve their goals, but there are no short cuts and no easy solutions – it is generally a fairly long and sometimes arduous process.

Coaching increases knowledge and proficiency.  As human beings, we learn by making mistakes and being willing to apply the lessons learnt.  In the gym this tends to happen quite frequently – teaching students good posture and how to perform certain exercises for example also takes quite a long time.  As time goes by and the students progress they will constantly learn new things because their goals might change and they may well follow different training programmes etc. Periodization also comes into play here and students are constantly in the process of preparing themselves properly for a season or an event.  As legendary coach Vince Lombardi said: ‘Failure is not getting knocked down, failure is not getting back up!’  A fitness instructor inspires and drives athletes to constantly learn and improve.  As with all living things in nature, we are either growing or dying.  Coaches tend to insist that we continue to grow and when athletes can form a bond and get to know a good coach, it is best (in my opinion) to stay with one coach rather than trying to learn from many.

Coaching fosters accountability for the individual.  Accountability means there are rules (in the absence of them, people make up their own!) and clearly-defined expectations.  We also know that human beings are motivated by the desire to pursue rewards or avoid consequences.  The gym coach learns which style works for each athlete and applies the appropriate encouragement.  This takes time and further emphasizes the value having only one coach for an extended period of time.

Accountability (especially for me in gymnasium work) also means that we do what we set out to do and our commitment to that principle pays dividends on a regular basis (short and long term goals).

Coaching magnifies and accelerates results.  With direction, encouragement, motivation and persistence, each individual at KeNako accomplishes more (and does so sooner) than just ‘winging it’.  All of us have a certain level of drive, ambition, and determination.  Eventually, we might figure it all out. Having a coach (long term) helps us to bridge the gap between that ‘base’ level and our true potential and it helps to accelerate the process.  Good coaches build significant relationships with their athletes.  This also takes time.

Lastly, coaches understand that their primary job is to teach athletes how to be good people as well as skilled performers.  If you build a trusting, caring relationship with your players they’ll go to the “max” for you.  A coach and his athlete will get to achieve their goals far faster when the coach teaches his protégé simple concepts like commitment, honesty, caring, mutual respect, diligence, punctuation etc.  By building solid relationships with an athlete the gym coach can be an incredible motivator and inspiration, which in turn will lead to improved performance and greater heights being achieved.


Jan-Harm Venter
(Fitness Coach)