If you’ve ever watched a client struggle to return from an injury you know how heartwrenching it can be for both you (the coach) and the client. In this week’s 10 Minutes of Fitness James FitzGerald and Michael Philhofer discuss six coaching steps to help a client recovering from an injury. You can watch the full episode for yourself here.
James begins this episode by emphasizing that working to fix pain falls outside of the scope of practice for a fitness coach. “We work to influence people through our words and punching of keyboards, not through physical manipulation,” adds James. When working with a client that is recovering from an injury you need to make sure that you are staying within your scope of practice.
Michael sets the scene for this conversation by describing a sample client that is recovering from an injury. This client was previously competitive, got injured during a lift, and has aspirations to get back to a competitive level.
The first step when working with a client that is recovering from injury is to talk about it. “You need to have a conversation about their goals,” says James. The goal of this conversation is to get the client to the point where they say, “‘I want to do whatever caused the injury again without pain.’ This will start the process of healing. But this can only come from them, they really have to believe that they will get better or they won’t.” This is only the first step in the recovery process, but ultimately the most important. Learn how to understand your client’s goals here and start helping your clients recover faster today.
As highlighted in this episode, physical manipulation of the client is outside of the coach’s scope of practice. As the coach, a key part of your role in injury recovery is offered through outstanding relationship and interpersonal skills. This is one reason why OPEX Fitness teaches coaches to conduct monthly client consultations with their clients. Learn our professional method of conducting client consultation for free in this introductory course.