Secret- n: 1. something kept from the knowledge of others 2. Me.
I am a secret. I have a secret identity. I have been called the “friend from work”, “my running buddy”, “friend of a friend”, “lived in the same dorm in college” and many other of similar descriptions. These people may call me this in public, but when one on one, they call me “Coach”. People come to me to help them to reach their potential, without anyone knowing.
I am finding more and more people coming to me in confidence. They don’t want friends, family, coworkers, or social media to know they have contacted or hired a Coach.
The daily pressures of life, work, family, and trying to fit everything in is becoming overwhelming for people. They want to improve in fitness and sport but don’t have time to think. They come to me as a Coach “I don’t want to think, tell me what to do, I’ll do it. Oh and don’t take this the wrong way, but please don’t tell anyone I hired you”.
One of my philosophies in coaching is: It’s personal. It’s about you. You’re training to make yourself better, to achieve your goals. You are not competing against anyone, only yourself. So if being a secret is what a client wants, I respect that, and completely understand. I am very good at keeping a secret, especially if it means helping someone reach their highest potential.
Why all this need for secrecy? Why do people want to hide having a Coach? I asked those who have kept me a secret, or currently keep me a secret, and these are their answers (and yes I am keeping their identities, a secret):
“I worked with a hard core runner and wanted to secretly train without all their unwelcome advice”
“There is too much pressure from people who pretend to be friends, but who see you as competition & are just waiting for your demise to feel better. I don’t want them knowing I have a Coach. I want to get better for me, not to compete against them.”
“My friend is a Coach; I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”
“If you have a secret Coach there’s no extra pressure to perform. If everyone knows you have a Coach they expect you to PR every time. That’s not realistic.”
“I’m a private person. It’s my personal business.”
“Knowing you kept our Coaching relationship a secret validates the fact that you are in this for my success, not for personal gain”
“In the running/fitness community there can be a certain elitism or intensity that can be super intimidating. With a confidential/private coach, we can progress without fearing judgment from others who may have more time and energy to devote to their fitness.”
If the growing trend is toward a confidential/private Coach, I am 100% on board because that means there is also a growing trend of more people bringing health, fitness, and improvement in sport, into their life. And that…is music to my ears.