When you watch an artist paint a canvas, you will note that they already have some "sort of" image created in their mind. Sometimes vague, this image can change with each stroke of the brush. If you watch closely, the artist always has his full attention on the canvas, and with each stroke; makes adjustments or modifications to blend the layers together so they work. Any painter that tells you they paint exactly what they see in their head is full of it. Painting is an art-form...it's a feeling or an expression. It is exactly the moment you are in the moment.
Coaching clients is the same thing. Its an art form. You are in the moment as you are creating the moment. Many trainers tend to lose sight of the emotional connection that takes place between themselves and the client within this act of transformation. When training a client, you are involved in something that will drastically affect one of you. If you play your cards right and design the right program with exceptional coaching, your client will transform and you will be rewarded with a great sense of worth.
But many of today's trainers don't get lost in this transformation. They simply spout out orders, jot down reps and sets, and check their clocks. The disconnect is evident and you know it. Many trainers look bored and soon, sessions become awkward and downright fake. Maybe I am talking about you? Maybe I am referring to someone you may know? Chances are, we know what its like.
The art of coaching calls for a level of vulnerability from the client (of course); but also from the trainer. Emotions should run high during sessions--especially during physical feats. Each client brings a level of vulnerability to the session. As each session brings more comfort, the level of vulnerability becomes increased. Your client becomes your blank white canvas!
Each session becomes a stroke to the canvas. It is an opportunity to design your landscape. Your client represents your picture. The trainer should have an image created of where he would like the client to be. For example--closer to the goal each session. Each passing session, the strokes on the canvas begin to form a shape. They begin to develop into a landscape. The transformation becomes more and more evident as more time passes and more comfort is reached. The sessions become fun, challenging, and over-flowing with self-discovery. Who's self discovery? BOTH.
I have been in the field for 14 years. The reason I have stayed in this field for so long is because I view each client as my personal white canvas. Each session is my opportunity to get them closer to their goal while keeping it fun, supportive, and introspective. Each client gives me the opportunity to discover something about myself. The more challenging the client, the more drive and determination I have to see to it that this canvas gets completed. Connect yourself with each session on an emotional level. Stop making it your job or your mission--make it about the art.