How to Find the Perfect Competition Coach; for YOU!

You’ve picked the show, found the motivation, and now you’re looking at starting your competition prep! You are so ready! Well, besides one thing: how the heck do I do this?

  The first thing that should be on every competitors list when deciding to compete is finding a coach and this task can prove to be trickier than you thought and for good reason! Deciding on a competition coach gives you the opportunity to have guidance, accountability, and trust in someone throughout a journey that can prove to be very overwhelming at times.

So where do you start? How do you choose? And what should you expect? Follow these simple tips to find the perfect match for your competition!

How to Choose a Competition Coach:

Find a coach to match your plan. By this time, you should have been making your wish list: what federation, division, time line, and general goals you want out of this competition season, now it’s time to find a person who not only understands YOUR vision, but has the experience to match.

Often new competitors get influenced by a coach and stray from their initial federation or division based on a coach’s preference. Although this advice should be heard, remember why you wanted to start this journey and find a coach who supports that.

Also, philosophies run rapid with coaches! Make sure their training, nutrition, and stage presence approaches match what you’re looking to gain out of this process. Be thorough in asking how they determine nutrition plans, provide support for post show, and how involved they are in the training process.

Ask a veteran. Too often, competitors see pros or champions of past years and automatically assume they can team up with the same coaches and have the same results; not always the case! Finding a coach is like finding a partner; it takes rapport, trust, and understanding and because it works for one competitor does not mean it will work for you.

My advice? If you run across an athlete’s physique or philosophy you really admire, reach out to them! Ask how they like their coach, the process, and if they intend to continue training with the same coach. Almost all competitors are extremely happy to lend their opinions on coaches, prep styles, and advise.

20140608_FitnessAlysha_3037 Talk the talk, walk the walk. This tip is extremely important for me to stress to new competitors! I see so often a competitor will win a show and suddenly they’re a “master” trainer and nutritionist, offering coaching services; be aware of this!

There is nothing wrong when interviewing coaches asking for credentials, why they believe in certain philosophies, and why they coach. Also, ask them how many competitors they train per season and not just about why they’re competitors win, but possibly why they may not.

I also feel its extremely important to have a coach that has competed themselves. They need to understand the physical and mental struggles that competitors go through. I also prefer a “total package” coach or someone who handles posing, nutrition, and training; this way you always feel on the same page.

Be smart. This one is a no-brainer, but is too often missed by a competitor. First off, don’t just pick the first coach you meet and don’t ignore your initial gut feeling when you meet with this coach.

No matter what it was; nutrition advice, training specifics, even personality traits….if there is something that made you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it!

This is YOUR choice, for YOUR show; make sure everything fits and makes you feel comfortable!

What do you need? This is a question that you should explore with yourself; honestly. Ask yourself, what type of coaching have you responded to in the past? What approach to coaching do you need to be successful?

Don’t spare the details, for example if you want to compete with a paleo approach to nutrition, specifically state that to your coach and if they feel comfortable with that. Sometimes competitors leave all the decisions to coaches and forget to know what’s important to them during a prep, don’t skip this step.

Knowing what you need will not only help you decided what coach is right for you, it will also help your coach understand the mental and physical approach you need to be at your best.

Follow your gut. I’ll be honest here; I had coaches and been a coach and have gotten to experience competition prep full circle and everyone’s experience can be different.

The best experiences I’ve had while competing have been ones where I trusted my coach and approach to the process, felt involved in training and nutrition decisions, and most of all, felt like I stuck to my goals from beginning to end and this took time to develop with a coach and myself.

Now while coaching a team, I’ve seen so many of my own athlete’s struggle with the process and I know now it’s my job to make sure each athlete understands the process, the plan, and always has 100% support; on and off the stage.

Following your gut isn’t just something you should look for when selecting a show or coach; but something you should listen to the entire journey of competing.

Coaches provide amazing guidance and support, but before, during, and after the show there is only one person you really count on and that’s YOU!

RENE PIROLT EDIT 3       Article Contributed by:

Alysha White,

Axis Labs Sponsored Athlete and Team Fit Chick Head Coach and