How to Know You’ve Found a Good Health Coach


Reviewed by Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD


Once you decide you want to work with a health coach, finding the right one goes beyond checking off a list of qualifications.

How do you know if you’ve found the best health coach for you? What are the qualities of a good coach besides the obvious credentials?

We’ve listed some traits to look out for when choosing a health coach.

Essentially, it all boils down to how the two of you “vibe.” You should find someone you get along with and trust, someone who seems to truly “get” you and is as invested in your success as you are.

Let’s dive deeper into what all that means.

Why is it important to find a good health coach?

A skilled health coach serves as a personalized guide.

They’ll help you achieve your goals with tailored advice, motivation, custom nutrition plans, and exercise routines designed specifically for you.

They won’t just give you generalized or generic advice about diet and exercise. This individualized approach ensures that you maximize your full potential and make the most of your fitness journey.

7 signs you’ve found a good coach

What are the qualities of a good coach?

How do you know when you’ve found one?

These seven qualities are by no means an exhaustive list, but they can help you narrow down your options.

1. They can walk you through their process.

A good health coach should possess the skill to clearly explain the steps, strategies, and milestones integral to their approach.

This not only demonstrates their expertise but also shows that they have a structured process to help you succeed.

Even more than that, they should also be able to draw on insights gained from practical experience. Articulating lessons learned from working with other clients like you shows understanding for the issues or preferences you might have. They’ve proven that they know how to address challenges similar to yours.

2. They can provide references and testimonials.

A hallmark of a good coach is their openness to share references and testimonials without hesitation. Transparency not only reflects confidence in their ability but also underscores their commitment to client satisfaction.

Ideally, these references should be from clients in your demographic with similar goals. If you have a particular injury, for example, a good coach will have testimonials from clients they’ve worked with in the past who experienced a similar injury or physical limitation. A good coach understands the value of real-world feedback and recognizes that the experiences of past clients can speak volumes.

Moreover, the ability to connect with past clients demonstrates a coach’s confidence in the relationships they’ve built. If a coach avoids providing references, that should raise concerns about their client interactions and the impact of their coaching.

Testimonials, in particular, offer insights into the tangible benefits clients have experienced under a coach’s guidance. Positive testimonials not only validate the coach’s skills but also provide you with a glimpse of the potential results you can expect.

3. They ask you questions.

A coach’s interest in your story is a reflection of their commitment to your success. They should ask you questions—lots of them. A quality coaching relationship is built on a foundation of understanding, and effective coaches recognize the importance of delving into your unique circumstances.

Rather than simply presenting a pre-packaged solution, a good coach should be genuinely interested in your “why.” They should want to understand your motivations, challenges, and specific goals. The questions they ask should help them tailor their coaching plan to your particular preferences and lifestyle.

4. They listen to you.

Another quality of a good coach is the ability to integrate your thoughts and feedback into the coaching process. Remember, this is a two-way, collaborative relationship.

Listening extends beyond the spoken word; it involves deciphering the nuances and subtleties of your communication. A good coach is attuned to not only what you say but how you say it.

A coach’s responsiveness to your feedback should foster an environment of trust. If you express concerns or suggest modifications to the plan, a good coach listens, understands, and adapts the program. This flexibility ensures that the coaching process remains dynamic, adjusting to your evolving needs and circumstances.

5. They communicate openly and often.

As we said, transparent and open communication is a two-way street. This element is fundamental to your success and includes how and when you and your coach touch base.

Effective coaches establish clear expectations regarding communication from the outset. Whether it’s setting regular check-ins, defining response times, or outlining preferred communication channels, a good coach is accessible to you and reliable in responding. You should feel comfortable reaching out, knowing that your coach is receptive to any questions or concerns you have.

6. They consider your health holistically.

Your well-being extends beyond isolated facets like exercise and nutrition. You’ll know you’ve found a good health coach when they also take into account your sleep quality, stress levels, past injuries, and exercise experience. They know how these factors work together and influence one another.

For instance, understanding your nutritional habits allows a coach to develop a diet plan that improves on your current eating habits, without being unrealistic. Acknowledging past injuries or exercise experiences informs workout routines that prioritize safety and effectiveness. The consideration of sleep patterns and stress levels further refines the approach, promoting overall well-being.

This holistic, multi-faceted view of well-being is called “Deep Health.” And when a Deep Health approach is applied, it means you’re more likely to create positive habits that affect every aspect of your life—for the long term.

7. They can adjust your program to fit your needs.

A good coach will adjust your program to fit your changing needs as you work to achieve your goals.

Whether you have specific dietary requirements, time constraints, or preferences in workout styles, a coach tailors the program to ensure it not only helps you make progress but also integrates seamlessly into your lifestyle—and can adapt as necessary.

Tips for finding a good health coach

Finding a good health coach goes beyond looking up online reviews or asking friends for recommendations (though those are good ways to get started).

Here are some more tips to keep in mind as you look for a health coach.

Identify your goals

Before seeking a coach, take a moment for introspection.

Ask yourself why you want to work with a health coach and what specific outcomes you aim to achieve.

Whether it’s weight loss, improved fitness, better sleep, or overall well-being, clarity on your objectives serves as a guiding compass in selecting the right coach.

However, it’s also okay not to have a specific goal, or if your goal is something general like, “I want to be healthier.” Helping you clarify and refine your goals is part of a health coach’s job. They can engage you in meaningful conversations to understand your aspirations, challenges, and motivations until the two of you shape a tailored plan together.

Talk to prospective health coaches

Once you’ve identified three to five potential health coaches, take time to meet with each one-on-one.

Prepare a list of questions and talking points to guide these discussions. Your questions should focus on things like their coaching philosophy, past experiences, and success stories. Understanding how their approach aligns with your goals is essential to making sure you truly “get” one another.

During these conversations, also pay attention to the coach’s communication style and demeanor. Consider whether you feel comfortable and genuinely heard during the conversation.

Day-to-day logistics are important as well. As you get to know each coach, ask them about their availability, preferred communication channels, and the structure of the coaching sessions. This will ensure a smooth and manageable collaboration.

Evaluate the “vibe”

Coaching is, at its core, a relationship-based service, and the personal connection you establish with your coach can profoundly impact your motivation and commitment to your health goals. A positive and supportive connection fosters a sense of trust, making the coaching relationship more enjoyable and effective.

However, recognize that there’s no “perfect” coach.

Instead, focus on finding a coach who’s “good enough” for you—someone whose approach aligns with your preferences and understands your unique circumstances. While there might be a coach who, on paper, seems to fit all your criteria, less tangible elements like a coach’s personality, communication style, and general energy are paramount. Trust your instincts and choose a coach with whom you genuinely connect.

We’re here to help you reach your goals

The health coaches at Precision Nutrition are experts in their fields. They take the time to understand your behavior and habits as they design a plan to fit your unique goals and lifestyle.

Our coaches don’t just give you advice about diet and exercise. They work closely with you so you can learn healthier, sustainable habits that will help you feel better long term.

Try our 1:1 coaching program now and achieve the results you deserve.



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