Coaches Corner

5 tips for training clients with low self confidence. By, Andrew Reay.

22 Feb 2022

Many of the clients that I work with have lost confidence in their body, and its ability to do what it used to do.

This has a huge effect on their self-esteem, self-worth and sometimes their whole identity. From experience, here are my 5 tips to start to rebuild that confidence.

Ask the client what a good outcome would look like for them, and make it personal

Most people (in a rehab environment) want to be 'out of pain', but let’s look deeper. What does being out of pain mean for them. An example I have had recently is 'I miss being able to yoga on a Saturday with my friends and have a coffee afterward'. This has multiple layers, the exercise component, the social component, as well as being a part of a community. This is a measurable goal, which would have a huge effect on a person's confidence if it could be reintroduced to their life.

Ask them the last time they felt good

Ask them to remember back to that time and describe it. Make a note of the words that they used and use those words in your sessions. Ask them to add a photo from that time to their wallpaper on their phone and to think back to it regularly, and ask them to be aware/change their language when talking about their struggles or injury. Some trainers will turn their nose up at this recommendation, but I am a huge believer that what you say leads to what you do and how you feel. If you can change the language and the narrative in their day-to-day conversations, it will have a very positive impact on their lives.

Personal training

Give the minimal amount of clear and accurate advice

Those with low self-confidence or body confidence often feel a little lost. They have searched for the answer to their problem from multiple sources already, and are more confused than when they started. You need to be the person who cuts through the noise, and offers them a path to where they want to be.

It is absolutely pivotal that you genuinely care

If you don't think you can help, find someone who can, and if you are just trying to get another hour's pay without being committed, it will be worse for you and the client in the long run. From there, treat the client with genuine care and respect, as this will set you apart from many others.

Set out what you expect from them in the first session

In order for the client to be compliant, he/she needs to be confident in the plan and have to agree and bought into it. This includes a commitment to sessions, financial investment, and compliance with what you set out.

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