Mistakes Trainers and Coaches Make 6-8-10

Not Being Present

One of my favorite quotes of all-time comes from Z-Health creator Dr. Eric Cobb.  It goes a little something like this:

Stop! And be present.”

Simple words, for sure.  But they mean a lot, if you allow them to.

In this day and age, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race that is life.  Whether it’s thinking about the dog, the kids, the spouse, how you’re going to make ends meet, how Johnny’s soccer coach sucks, or anything else, sometimes it’s hard to give a client your full and undivided attention.

This may not be a big deal if you’re simply counting reps and maybe throwing a coaching cue in every now and then.

But what if, just what if someone where to get injured on your watch?

How would you feel, especially if you could’ve prevented it?

Or at the very least, you have that doubt in your mind that you might’ve prevented it?

What I would suggest is trying to “compartmentalize.”  It’s hard, I admit, and something I’m working hard to do myself – not so much when training clients, but in other aspects of my life.

Do your best to compartmentalize your life.  If you’re at work, focus on work – your clients, your day-to-day duties, etc.

If you’re at home, focus on spending time with your spouse or significant other, your kids, your pets, or simply relaxing.  That isn’t always a bad thing, you know!

Dan John always says, “The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.”

This could be something like, “When you’re at work, do work.  When you’re at home, be at home.”

Wow – I think this blog post may be better for me to read than you 😉

All the best



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  1. Hi coach,
    I've been following your posts for a long time through your RSS feed, but recently the feed has been cluttered with HTML code. I hope you can fix this issue so I can keep following your work. Thanks and keep up the good work!
    Ari Lipponen
    Trainer & coach, Finland

  2. Hello Mike,
    This is the best advice of all; it can be shortened further:
    Be present.
    That's it, and it is the whole of the teachings in all spiritual schools, too. It is the Reader's Digest version of Eckhardt Tolle's "The Power of Now", and of all of Zen Buddhism, and so on.
    When you are present in the now, the ego cannot be present; the ego lives in the immediate past or future, or further back/forward.
    For me personally, if I find myself drifting off into thought, I simply take a breath in and lightly hold it, feeling what is happening in my body. Instant presence.
    So, if I may make a suggestion, rather than "Stop" (a word denoting a concept that can stay as a thought for) breathe instead and make an effort to feel that in the body. The body permanently lives in the now; the mind is the one that travels forwards and backwards in tim.
    Breathe; be present.
    The paradoxical aspect of this is that, when present, your mind will work much better and you will be much more effective in whatever work you are doing.
    Thanks for this. I am presenting at the moment to a group of personal trainers and Pilates teachers in Saskatoon, Canada, this week, and your post is a timely reminder. Cheers, KL

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