The world of online programming and consulting has grown exponentially over the last few years. I've been lucky enough to be at the forefront of online programming, taking on clients as early as 2010 and taking it very seriously.
But there are many self-proclaimed experts that have no business selling others programming or fitness-related advice, as their lack of practical knowledge puts athletes at risk. Simply put, there are many aspects of someone's resume that need to be considered before entrusting your well-being with them.
1 – How long have they been in the industry?
Time and time again, we see many online coaches that have less than five years of experience. Having limited practical knowledge is not ideal when it comes to being able to determine the best course of action for others, as well as being able to connect with your clients on an emotional level and understand where they're coming from.
Practical knowledge is just as important (if not more so) than any certification or book your coach may have read and should be a requirement. Potential clients must do their homework on who they're taking advice from. Just because a coach can perform at a high level or has a great physique doesn't mean they're qualified to be coaching others.
2 – Do their clients get great results while staying away from injury?
Do research with their current clients. I've had many potential clients email some of my clients or drop in at their facility asking for feedback on my service, and I expect this will happen many more times in the future. It only takes a few minutes of your time to do the research that may determine whether or not you invest in the services of an online coach.
3 – Read their bio.
If your potential coach doesn't have an online bio, then how are you really going to get to know who you're working with? Learning about their background, experience, knowledge, and credentials will help you determine whether or not your potential coach is the right fit for you.
You could even take your investigating to the next level. There are sites that have registries of some of the top fitness certifications, and can actually confirm your coach has the certifications they're claiming to have. You may be surprised by the results.
Overall, do your homework first. Your potential coach should certainly practice what they preach, but remember that having elite athletic ability and an elite physique doesn't mean they're qualified to be an elite coach. When it comes to your safety, accept only the highest standards.