Beyond the entry form: Why coaches need to do the job to know their clients

If you are tracking and writing about Girls Gone Strong in recent years, you've noticed a thrilling change in GGS community talks. Now more than ever, educators and lovers recognize that women are more than organs and that a truly open approach to understanding means understanding how race, sexuality, gender, gender, class, etc. – Exercise, food, gym and gym.

In Who needs to adapt? Examining the physical junctionsWe briefly summed up the cross-domain and how cross-references of our identities create different identity experiences for each individual.

The concept of junction, as explained by feminist legal scientist Kimberlé Crenshaw, does not just look at how identity interacts with each other but analyzes the interaction between oppression. It is important to recognize the difference between the intersection of identities and the concept of cross-sectoral.

For example, a woman may include her identity as a tall woman as one of her intersections. While tall can put some challenges for women, for example, when buying clothes, this is not oppression. Tallness has not historically led women to be deprived of jobs, to experience violence, to receive less wages, to marginalize politically,

Understanding that there is a fundamental difference between discomfort and oppression is the first step in engaging in participation, especially in your marginalized customers.

Today, at national level, we have discussions on race, gender and sexuality, among others, in ways that are unprecedented and require cultural literacy in all aspects of our lives and employment.

Having this cultural culture would help us to understand, for example, why, after the most recent presidential election, women and people from marginalized communities are experiencing a "post-stroke stress disorder," as reported by Jennifer Sweeton Psy.D. in Psychology today [1]. What exactly does this sport matter and how do we interact with our customers?

Do not add to weight

As gym trainers and coaches, you invest in helping women achieve health and fitness goals. Do this by knowing your customer and creating customized designs that we hope will match your clients' lifestyle and needs, building their self-esteem and helping them achieve the best results.

However, in order to work for a more real practice practice, it is increasingly necessary to overcome the questions about goals, diet, sleep habits, and the basic medical history of your clients. We need to be in harmony with how the environments in which our customers live interact with their identity and shape their experiences, their ability and access to food, mental health and motivation. Through this political moment, trainers are wondering:

"What more should I know about my client to better serve and how can I get this information? "

While we want to be as up-to-date as possible about our customers, their experiences and their communities, we no they want to burden our clients by relying on them to explain themselves.

Black feminist poet Kate Rushin describes this expectation in The poem of the bridge:

I've had enough
I'm sick to see and touch
Both sides of things
Male that is the damned bridge for everyone

You do
He can talk to anyone
Without Me


I explained my mother to my father my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother, my brother to white feminists
White feminists in the black church worship black church temples
For the former hippies the former hippies to the black separatists
Black artists to the artists' parents of my friends …

Then I have to explain myself
To everyone

Here you have the sense of the level of translation that deals with Rushin as she tries to explain herself, her family and the communities she needs to "bridle" into her work as a black feminist.

Although this was written in 1981, it still records the emotion of the struggle people face today, especially women from marginalized communities. The work of explanation – of bridging – is a depletion of work. Indeed, this work of educating those who do not live in the margins is mental and physical taxation.

When we expect our clients to do this education work, we increase the emotional workforce they can already engage in.

As we know well, emotional anxiety also manifests itself in our bodies. If doing the bridging work is also Of course, what can we do as trainers and coaches to get to know our customers without contributing to physical injury?

Read, Listen, Learn

We do not have to look long to find that women and conscious people of all sexes and marginalized identities share their knowledge and make it more available and accessible. They describe their experiences in detail as people of color, LGBTQ, disabled, poor, victims of sexual abuse and without papers. They give us access to the reality of life in a world that does not see them as part of the majority or deny their humanity.

Reading books, stories and blogs from marginalized peoples is a way to get more general information about the realities faced by marginalized populations. It is important, reading with an open mind – and with the willingness to act based on your new knowledge – is necessary.

Think about engaging with local groups who organize issues around social justice. The sense of "our community" is shaped mainly by who we see more often.

How do you think others out of your immediate community are experiencing your neighborhood or city? What are the issues that affect their health and safety? Working with groups of local communities in meaningful ways can make you more aware of the people around you and can give you opportunities to serve them.

Be ready to commit yourself to the full duration of a project. Simply "parachuting" and taking more than you are ready to give reproduces the injustices experienced by marginalized communities.

Bring it to the fitness industry

Discussion with a diverse network of trainers and professionals in the field is also important. There is still a lot of work to be done in the fitness industry to give space to marginalized trainers and coaches and to devote more serious conversations on the impact of social and political frameworks on our clients' lives.

If you attend a conference and you do not see speakers that look like your customers, increase your voice! If we truly believe that gymnastics is for everyone, we have to do everything we can to create space for other organs and perspectives.

In our journey to learn, it is important to be open to being challenging and even feeling bad.

What we read and hear can challenge our truth system, which shapes the lens through which we see the world and our customers. But, as I say to my students in my university classes, we do not learn in comfort. Just as we put our body through (relative) annoyance to strengthen our muscles and bodies, we must challenge our minds to grow beyond what we know and act on the basis of our new knowledge.

Getting acquainted with our customers beyond the import form

Before you start asking questions, ask yourself:

  • Do I ask questions from my curiosity or concern? Questions should be asked to support the training, not to satisfy your curiosity.
  • Am I open to being and I feel provocative?
  • Do I make changes within myself?
  • Am I motivated and ready to find the right resources for my client?
  • Have I done what I can to create a climate in which my client feels safe sharing my experiences with me?
  • Have I done what I can to figure out some of the important issues related to my customers' identity and communities?

Now that you have done your personal self-inventory, you are ready to start asking your customers more serious questions. Here are some do and do not ask questions beyond the recruitment form:

You know that your client is the beginning of his own experience and identity.

Sometimes they may say for themselves that they are not in line with your assumptions about their identity.

Instead of provoking them, you can say "Thank you for sharing it with me. I will remember this," or a similar confirmation statement.

DO NOT make the purpose of your queries about their education.

Otherwise, you may feel that you want to be your cultural informant.

PLE start some of your queries with comments and their structure open.

For example, if you are concerned about your client's access to nutritious foods, you can say, "I notice that when I am in a variety of supermarkets, the price of the product is changing dramatically, and the quality is changing as well." What did you notice about the products at the local supermarket?

Asking for their remarks will allow them to prioritize issues that are most important to them and give you insights into the challenges they face.

IOC expresses that you are constantly monitoring your skills as a trainer.

Inclusion of a short assessment at the end of each session will create an opening environment and build trust (as long as you are willing to be open to constructive reviews!).

DO NOT attempt to associate yourself with everything your client experiences.

For example, if your color client describes that you feel uncomfortable in a white gym, do not try to compare the feelings of annoyances with their own. Remember the example at the beginning? The social stigma of being tall can not be compared to the experience of being a man of color. Their feelings are specific to a particular context and the story of racism.

DO NOT try to minimize or "explain" their experiences about them.

This may turn out to be trying to defend the person or the situation that caused their feelings. Sometimes it turns into a form of gas.

DO NOT impose labels on labels that they do not use for themselves.

For example, if your client is referred to as "Latina", do not report it as a "Hispanic". Recognizing customer terms for themselves, be they ethnic, racial or racial identities, is a fundamental expression of respect.

DO NOT believe that just because you can locate with a marginalized identity you identify with your client.

Be aware of your privileges and important differences between you and your customer.

One Last Word

As trainers and coaches, we need to work to improve our social, cultural and political bureaucracies in order to better serve our clients. It is up to you to decide whether you want to know your client more actively than the download form. Each customer is different and you can read your relationship, the quality of the community between you and the client, and the progress of your customer to see if there are questions to ask.

But what we can all do is adapt to the world around us and be critically perceptible about our educational practices and the efforts we make to model the model of participation, respect and compassion.


bibliographical references

  1. Sweeton J, Post-electoral anxiety disorder in women, Psychology Today, November 12, 2016.
  2. Rushin K, The poem of the bridge,

GGS-1 Coaching Certification is the first global, multidisciplinary, documented, body-friendly, person-qualified certification for health and fitness professionals. This certification is NOT your online course "Running". It is the culmination of women's coaching information and guarantees that it will help you stand out in your full world.

Pre-sale listing gives you access to early birds during registration (24-48 hours before opening to the public), you will learn more about certification and SAVE $ 200 when you sign up.