Personal Coach

Summary: We talk about what a personal coach is and who, how can benefit from hiring one. Generally, there are there to help you get fitter, healthier or build your self-confidence. Let’s see how it works!

What does a Personal Coach actually do? 

Everybody knows some friends who are planning on starting a fitness routine for as long as you remember. They say they will, but in fact, they never start it. They talk about wanting to look slim and healthy, get fit, start a new diet or just implement a healthier one. Those planners could certainly benefit from welness or sports coaching as well as anyone else who needs some support in the areas of health, fitness or even stress management.

These personal coaches help people to start a new routine,  find a lifestyle, a work-out plan or even the kind of sport that fits them the best. But most of all these professionals help to find and maintain motivation. They help their customers to overcome existing resistance,  they empower them and give them the confidence to start and keep going. Coaching helps you to get fit, live healthier, and lead a more energetic life. The ultimate aim is to make long-lasting and healthy habit changes.

Personal-, wellness or sports-coaches offer smooth guidance on the road of learning instead of setting specific instructions. They don’t create meal plans or set various milestones to achieve. They don’t try to influence of pushing their clients in any set directions, regardless of being a strong believer in any routine they have done in the past. However they are there to support you and keep you accountable when it matters most.

The areas where a personal coach can support you:

  • Fitness
  • Stress management
  • Weight or health issues
  • Nutrition
  • Sport specific training (Like marathon or swimming)
  • Mental coaching


General health matters!

Why? Well, beyond the obvious that we all want to look fab, feel great, and lead a happy and fulfilled life, wellness helps us to combat various challenges life throws at us. In a fit body, you might easier find a fit mind too. If you are healthy and fit you most likely will get sick less, of course, there are no guarantees here but various studies show that when people get sick, they are able to fight back according to their fitness level. We can accomplish more when we have the energy to do so. Not to talk about combating life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, arthritis just to name a  few. If you are in a good health, it is more likely you will be able to avoid these or fight them with much better results.

Personal Coaches can help you with the following things:

  • Discover what inspires you
  • Guide you to identify fitness and lifestyle goals
  • Helps to plan how to achieve the identified, specific goals
  • Help to understand where you need some lifestyle or fitness changes
  • Build confidence and inspire you to work hard toward the goals
  • Create plans together with you and identify your personal needs
  • Help overcome obstacles and challenges and understand how to handle future re-occurrence
  • Provide healthy choices in the area of health, fitness, lifestyle
  • If needed refer you to health professionals for specific advice
  • Encourage you to take responsibility for the choices you make


When working with a wellness coach you receive support in various areas of your life

Wellness coaches are often experienced and certified personal trainers, nutritionist or therapists. However, their ultimate goal is not to set you up with one specific solution that they are trained to do oppose to the aforementioned therapists, but rather to guide you to identify your own, most suitable solution in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and motivation. At the moment I am personally working with two coaches in my life. One is a wellnesscoach, while the other is a mental coach, and I found the results to be astonishing. Let me qive you a quick intro to both of them:

Fysiotherapie Amsterdam
(The experts from AmstelFysio, who are guiding me towards my first marathon success)

Professional Running Coach

For the last year, I have been running occasionally, putting in 5km to 10km in the week, and 15km before important events like half marathon’s. I never tracked my progress and  made the judgement based on how my body felt at the day or training intensity. Of course I have been keeping a close eye on my nutrition and did I go to the gym but it was never really structured. Since I want to complete a marathon in September I decided to counsel the support of an expert in the field, who can help me complete the marathon, train in a healthy manner and help me with my technique.

So two months ago, I approached the Frans Brouwer and the guys from Amstelfysio to see if they would be interested to guide me in my journey. Why? Because they are fanatical runners themselves, and have a specialized Sportslab to focus on Marathon and Triathlon preparation.  In the Sportlab they can do things like a running-technique video analysis, a VO2 Max Test or a Resting-Metabolism Measurement, more on that later. For now I quickly want to dive deeper into how the process

How does the process work?

When you work with a sports coach like Frans, there is a standard flow of tasks:

  1. Establish where you are on your wellness journey through a detailed questionnaire or discussion
  2. Establish your goals and identify challenges ahead
  3. Make a plan and create step-by-step, daily and weekly goals
  4. Build self-confidence through continuous support while you are getting through your regular tasks
  5. Evaluate and tweak where it matters most

In the coming blog posts, I will go deeper into the training I am doing with Frans at the moment and the effect of the VO2 Max, Technique and Rest Training. However after three sessions I already have a complete different eye when it comes to training, measuring, resting and running technique. However let’s first look at a more mental based coach I work with at the moment.

(Thomas van Splunteren, from Arbitrium Business Coaching, who helps me to focus and bring my A-game professionally)

My Experience working with a Personal Business Coach

For almost a year, I have been working with a business coach that guides me through my career, personal development, mental state and start-up life. Mental coaching is a broad term used to describe coaches who use a psycho-educational model to develop the psychological aspects of performance achievement. My coach, Thomas van Splunteren from Arbitrium Business Coaching, who is an avid golfer as well a successful entrepreneur, describes it like this “On the golf course, on stage, in the classroom, or in your daily line of work, achieving a peak performance is complex, cause we live in a world of constant distraction and insecurity.

Coaching helps you to stay gives you a collection of mental attributes that allow a person to achieve peak performance and persevere through difficult circumstances.” In a way it is a coaching method used for athletes,  that is also very applicable for start up founders, doctors, business executives and performance of the creative arts, who need to be in that state of peak performance on a daily basis.

For me the coaching has resulted in:

  • Deep Self Realization
  • Less Distractions
  • Deep Focus Work
  • Achievement of Bigger Goals
  • Embracement of Insecurity
  • Getting over Fear of Missing Out
  • Acceptance to make Mistakes

Should I get a Personal Coach?

After working with coaches like Thomas and Frans, I can conclude that coaching is all about the relationship. It is a deep connection between the coach and coachee. It’s about trust and putting the coachee first. If you are considering getting a personal coach for sports or business goals there are several things you should look at, like coaching style, approach, working method and the simple fact if they hold you accountable.

For me it has been worth every investment. Over the last twelve months, I have experienced spectacular growth and especially in recognizing my weaknesses and strengths and learning how to play them right. Thomas has played a major role in this, as his approach is not just about giving advice, it’s about forward movement. Together we have set clear goal and along the journey he recognized that I am the expert on my own life and in the end responsible of the end-goal. Looking at my coaching session with Frans, I found similar patterns as with Thomas, as they never tell me what to do, instead they are there to listen, challenge me,  and most importantly to keep me accountable. I will dedicate a post later this month n regards to my professional and athletic development, however to answer the question: “Should I get a coach?”, the answer is without a doubt; Yes! It will be the best investment you will make in order to get your (sports) career to the next level.