Trust the process.
Most of us have heard this before in some form. Maybe from a coach, a friend, or even just a post up on social media. I’ve been hearing it for years, and for a long time, I just bought into it. However, after many years of education/coaching/competing I can honestly say I think that when coaches say this they are taking an easy way out.
Most coaches work with a wide variety of clients, but no matter what the goal is there needs to be a specific process to determine the specifics of how you’re going to get that person to their goal.
When my clients have questions for me, I take the time to answer them. It’s normal for people to want to know why they are doing what they are doing. As their coach, you have the responsibility to confer that. When coaches don’t explain their process and just tell their athletes to trust them it tells me that a couple things may be/are going on.
Does your coach have a plan for YOU?
When someone is repeatedly told to “trust the process” I immediately see a red flag that a coach may not really understand the what and why of their programming decisions. Some coaches may have or be using an already established program where they’ve seen other athletes improve. Some coaches understand that there needs to be an intake process or baseline testing, but don’t know what to do after. They have data, but they might be unsure what it means or what to program next based on the results. So they say they have a plan, even if they really don’t. I’ve seen all of these things happen to people I know, or have heard it from people I know about their close friends. In short, this happens often, far too often.
If they do have a specific plan and don’t want to explain it to you then it means that either that you’re not important enough for them to waste the “time” it would take or that they are overburdened with too many clients and honestly don’t have the time to do it. No matter which of these excuses are the real reason, I find it unacceptable. Whether you’re their most competitive client, or just someone looking to lose weight, you are owed an experience with clear communication and understanding.
Is your feedback being heard and put to use?
As coaches, we should be asking our clients for as much feedback as possible, both subjective and objective. I want to know how much weight you’re using and what pace(s) you’re holding on cyclical pieces. But I also want to know how all of these things feel. The more data I receive, the better, and I’ve never met a coach who has thought otherwise.
I feel that the answer of “trust the process” is what clients often get when they are giving their coaches this subjective and/or objective feedback. As an example, you might be telling your coach “I only squatted 225 x 5 today, that’s only 5 pounds more than when we started 4 months ago. I feel like I’m not getting close to achieving my goal of squatting 300 pounds by the end of the year.” You are giving your coach what we need most, data. In return, I think you at least deserve a response detailing if this is indeed part of the plan, or if you might be stalled and the programming needs to change, or if there’s something we are going to work to change moving ahead, etc. vs not providing feedback, not really reassuring you, and just telling you to “trust the process.”
Are you progressing toward your goals?
If your coach is constantly telling you to trust the process and you go long periods of time without seeing progress toward your goals then it’s time to have a conversation to make sure they are the right fit for you. Hiring a coach is a great option when you’re ready to take your fitness goals to the next level, but it’s important to be an active advocate for your continued progress. When people take an active role in their health and wellness, research shows they fare better — in satisfaction and in how well programming works.
Interested in individualized programming? If you’d like to talk to Nate about personal training and individualized programming options, drop him a line using our contact form or email [email protected]. We’d love to help you find your best self!