15 August 2023
How to Know If You Are Qualified to Be An Online Fitness Coach
As a business coach who works with online health + fitness coaches, I’m asked this question regularly:
👉🏼 “Do I need to get a certification or a degree to become qualified to coach?”
The answer will vary broadly based on who you ask, but assuming you’re asking me (prepare yourself – this might be controversial)…
Because I believe that in order to be a qualified coach, someone should simply have the knowledge and skills to safely and successfully get people the results that they are seeking.
And as we all know, knowledge and skills can be obtained through MANY avenues; earning a certification is only one way to go about it.
However, with or without formal education, there are a few boxes I feel strongly that you NEED to check in order to be qualified to work as a coach.
✅ The ability to get someone from point A to point B
In short, a good, qualified health + wellness coach knows how to help someone reach their goals. This means you should have a certain level of expertise and knowledge, but it absolutely does NOT mean you need to know everything about health, wellness and fitness (which isn’t even possible, by the way).
For example, if you want to help someone improve their relationship with food and exercise, you should have a deep, clear understanding of exactly how to do that as well as the ability to teach it to someone else – and the way you reach that level of understanding can vary.
Keep in mind that completing a course or program that gives you a certification doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready or genuinely equipped to coach; it just means you met the requirements and got the piece of paper.
The truth is only YOU can know if you’re prepared to help someone actually get the results they want in a safe, effective way.
✅ A clear understanding of your scope of practice
As I said before, you don’t have to know everything, but you DO have to be prepared to acknowledge that you’re not able to help everyone.
If you specialize in getting bodybuilders prepared for competitions and a postpartum woman comes to you asking for help getting back into her groove post-baby, you need to be 100% honest: Are you *truly* able to help her achieve her goals, or should you refer her to someone else who specializes in meeting HER specific needs?
This is why there are coaches in many different niches with different skill sets (and one reason I tell coaches to choose an area of expertise rather than try to be a generalist who can help anyone with anything).
The bottom line: It’s on you to be clear about how you can and cannot help and only work with people who are within your scope of practice – anything else is unethical.
✅ Passion, commitment and a continual pursuit of knowledge
If you’re not fiercely passionate and committed to staying up-to-date on what’s happening or changing in your area of expertise, you should probably reconsider becoming a coach.
Many of the best coaches I’ve met or worked with – certified or not – have an insatiable desire to grow, learn and become the best they can be so they can serve their clients at the highest level. And it shows.
Keeping up with your industry and researching new trends or ideas is ESSENTIAL for your clients’ success (and YOUR success as a coach), so even if you DO earn a degree or certification at some point, remember: There’s truly no end to your education.
Ultimately, I encourage all current + aspiring coaches to seek out as much education as possible *AND* to understand that a certification doesn’t necessarily make them more qualified than a coach without formal education.
Because the coaching industry currently has no legal regulations or requirements for coaches to follow or meet in order to serve clients, it’s important to have self-awareness.
Understanding what you can and cannot help someone with is CRITICAL, and it’s always a good idea to send a potential client to someone else if you know you’re not the best fit.
But if you CAN help someone? If you ARE equipped to safely get them from where they are to where they want to go?
Go for it, coach.
I’m sharing even more on this topic on the⚡️The Best Coach Ever Podcast!⚡️
🎙 Listen to Episode 90: Are You Qualified to Be An Online Fitness Coach? wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t forget to leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts – I would love to hear from you! 💜
Hey, I’m Lynette!
I’m a fitness coach turned 7-figure CEO and business coach.
With 8+ years of experience in sales, marketing, program development, and content creation, I help women take their businesses from shaky start-ups to thriving empires. Why? Because I know it can be done!
Once upon a time, I was trying everything I could to get people’s attention and sell my offers. (Well, everything short of standing naked in the town square!)
Now I’m running the 7-figure business of my dreams.