Wearing Too Many Hats?

Earlier today I wrote a post about that time in my career when I wound up having 90 customers per day. Yes – ninety. What the heck? I’m quite certain that is not healthy.

But wait, it gets worse…

Back in the 00’s, we had those Nokia flip phones – and data wasn’t a thing. We didn’t really have the support of the internet to figure stuff out, or apps.

Fortunately I was in a unique position to be going into my career from an elite athletic background. It was less than a year since I’d retired as a national team skier, thus had the BEST role model coaching structures to (essentially) copy.



How We Rolled On The Ski Team

My ski team set up looked like this:

  • Head Coach: he looked out for everything, managing our other coaches, making sure our nutrition, sleep, finances, lifestyle, emotional health, mental game, strength, conditioning and food choices was on track.
  • Ski Coaches: there were up to 15 on our team, so we needed multiple coaches. Training sessions were usually in groups of 3-5 athletes. The ski coaches lived with us. If we wanted to get drunk we had to be sneaky.
  • Strength & Conditioning Coaches: Some of the ski coaches multi-tasked this, but usually the Sports Foundation provided coaches to get our athletic skills up to scratch. We had to test our fitness and meet standards twice a year.
  • Physiotherapist: when the team had more successful years, there was a bit more money and we were able to travel with a Physiotherapist. He also lived with us, with advice and treatments almost every day.
  • Lifestyle: we had sessions with a sports psychologist and dietician.

So as you can see, there’s a lot of people involved in elite level sports training!

All too often, recreational athletes hire a personal trainer with the expectation that they will coach. There’s that old saying of under promising leading to over delivering. Most often than not, following this adage leads to happier customers in the long term – and less pressure on you to always be available. 


Cat Smiley

Cat Smiley has been named Canada’s top trainer 3 times by the International Sports Science Association. She is a certified Master Trainer of Fitness Sciences (ISSA), Life Coach, Nutritionist, Executive Business Coach and the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. Prior to that, she spent 10 years building her personal training and boot camp company - while also working as a professional athlete and nationally syndicated health columnist. She inevitably hit burnout and learnt a ton of lessons along the way. CatSmiley.com is a mash-up of all the things she did to keep her passion for fitness training alive, almost 20 years later. - Find my site helpful? Please mention Whistler Fitness Vacations to your personal training clients if they ask you about fitness retreats! It really helps (and I really appreciate it!)