There are hundreds of different professions in the sporting field. Sports coach, sports manager, sports conditioning specialist – the list is endless. Although sports coaches help their teams get fit, this type of coach is not a personal trainer. Every one of these professionals serves a different purpose and goal. From the sports coach standing next to the field, helping the players get ready physically and mentally, to the sports manager who organises everything that the team needs to be successful. Two of the most popular and sought-after professions in the health and fitness industry are sports coaches and personal trainers.
Here are some key important differences between Sports Coaching and Personal Training
Personal Trainers Focus On One-On-One Training Sessions
They take various clients a day and can see up to ten different people on a daily basis. Each client has their own goals: training for weight loss, increasing muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness, competition prep, or just overall health maintenance.
Personal trainers specialise in specific areas such as strength training, cardiovascular training, high-intensity interval training, and plyometrics. They use these different kinds of training to help their clients reach their goals.
The Personal Trainer And Motivation
Another very important responsibility that a personal trainer has is to motivate their clients to keep working hard to reach their goals. Personal trainers need to be infectiously positive, energetic, motivating, inspiring, encouraging, and patient. They need to know what to say and do to push their clients past their limits. As health and fitness writer, Jessica Bell, says: “Working with a trainer that matches your personality and inspires you can create a driving force toward your fitness goals.”
What is Sports Coaching?
Sports coaches teach individuals or teams how to improve the skills that they need to succeed in their chosen sport and instruct on specifics of technique and strategy. They also supervise and facilitate training sessions, plan individual programs, oversee competitions or games and analyse their team or individual client’s performance.
The Role of a Sports Coach
A sports coach’s role will often change according to the needs of their athletes, their main role being skills development, but at a higher level, their role is likely to be about the development of strategies for their athletes to enhance the skills they already have. It is also the role of the sports coach to create a place where their athletes can grow in their chosen field of sport.
Sports Coaches Need to be Specifically Qualified in one Kind of Sport
This is in contrast with personal trainers who focus on general health and wellness. In many cases, sports coaches also act as role models for their athletes and it is therefore important that they live the way their athletes should live.
There is a lot of mental coaching going on between a sports coach and their athletes, just the same as there is between the client and his or her personal trainer. In some cases the coach will become a very close friend to the athlete, advising them on big decisions in their professional sporting and personal lives.
Sports coaches need to have sound knowledge of the respective sports of their athletes. They need to educate and motivate their athletes, know how to motivate them mentally, and get the best out of them at all times.
The distinct difference between a personal trainer and a sports coach is that personal trainers are there to help the general public reach their respective fitness goals, while sports coaches usually work with professional athletes on a more personal level.
What is Personal Training?
Personal trainers will train up to ten different clients on a daily basis. Each client has their own goals: training for weight loss, increasing muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness, competition preparation, or just overall health maintenance.
Personal trainers specialise in specific areas such as strength training, cardiovascular training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and plyometrics. They use these different kinds of training to help their clients reach their goals.
The Role of a Personal Trainer
A personal trainer’s role is to help his or her clients achieve their health and fitness goals – the main aim is to reach a personal target and maintain it.
Another very important role of the personal trainer is to motivate their clients to keep working hard to reach their goals. Personal trainers need to be extremely positive, energetic, motivating, inspiring, encouraging and patient. They need to know what to say and do to push their clients past their limits.
Personal Trainers are Sometimes Seen as Unofficial Therapists
This is because some clients share a lot of their anxiety and stresses from their personal life. In some cases, personal trainers will also advise their clients regarding their eating habits.
Personal trainers run on tight schedules and often have their days filled with clients from early morning till late at night. They are also a business on their own as they control how many clients they see and train every day. Essentially they are a personal brand and they need to market themselves as such.
Sports coaches Are Similar to Personal Trainers
However, there are some key differences:
- Sports coaches usually work with professional athletes. This means they have a smaller client base.
- Personal trainers see many clients on a daily basis.
- Sports coaches see two or three athletes, if that many, every day. They work very closely with their athletes to help them reach their full potential.
Sports coaches are responsible for training athletes in specific sporting fields, like soccer, rugby, swimming – whatever the sport may be. They help athletes reach their full potential within their sport by analysing their performance, making changes to their training regimes, instructing them in relevant skills, and encouraging them every step of the way.
However, the fact still remains that there is a close link between a personal trainer and a sports coach as they are both concerned with others’ health and fitness. To be the best out there means that you need to have a Trifocus Fitness Academy accredited Sports Coaching Science Certification or Personal Training Certification course under your belt.