Building Trust Between Coaches and Contenders


It is the very fabric that holds relationships together. Without trust, there can be no opening up, no showing of our inner selves, and no revealing of our vulnerabilities. In the absence of trust, we feel guarded, defensive, and on edge.

One area where trust is vitally important is the relationship between a coach and a contender. An open, trusting relationship allows for feelings to be shared. It provides the basis for searching deep to find inner motivation and drive. It gives you the utmost confidence to follow the guidance of your coach, and it gives your coach the reassurance that you are doing everything that you need to in order to achieve your goals.

In this post, we will discover how to build a powerful foundation of trust between you and your coach.

How to Make Yourself Trustworthy

Trust is not simply a quality that you either do or do not possess. It is a learned skill that we can all develop further; this takes time and application. Here are three key ways that you can make yourself more trustworthy in the eyes of your coach:


When you arrive for your training session, you expect your coach to be there on time and ready to go, he expects the same thing from you. Therefore, you need to commit to showing up on time, every time. Doing so will establish in your coach’s mind that you are reliable, developing a foundation of trust between the two of you.

When you show up, you also need to bring the energy and commitment to work hard during the workout. It is not enough to be present in body while your mind is consumed with other things. Arriving for your coaching session hungover will also not do much to engender trust with your coach.

Of course, there will be times when unavoidable situations will interrupt your schedule. How can we maintain trust in such a situation? Let’s consider a scenario:

You arrive late for your GWX session due to a scheduling issue. You enter the class quietly and catch up with the rest of the class. When the timing is appropriate and without interrupting the session, you restore trust with your coach by apologizing for being late.


To effectively help you to reach your goals, your coach needs to understand your motivations, triggers, and weaknesses. This means getting to know you at a level that requires openness on your part; you must be willing to share what is inside you.

Often, a fear of becoming vulnerable prevents us from opening up to others. You need to trust that your coach has your best interests at heart and will not judge. Your openness with your coach will build the bond of trust between you.

For example, if you have a weight loss goal, being open about your endurance level will help your training to incorporate the necessary modifications into a workout for success. Without this transparency you may become overwhelmed by a workout that is too difficult for you, leading to discouragement.


Your coach will be dedicated to helping you to achieve your training goals. To achieve success, you need to use the advice that he give you. Furthermore, you need to give your all during the workout. Truthfulness is important here. Don’t tell your coach that you are giving it your all when you are only working at 80% of your true capacity.

Truthfulness also relates to what you do when you are not with your coach. If your coach gives you nutrition advice and you don’t follow their guidance, do not be untruthful about it. By lying to your coach about that trip to the Cheesecake Factory, you will only be fooling yourself. Indulging now and then is only natural, but we need to be transparent in order to advance.

If your coach sets you up with an auxiliary training program to do the days that you are not training together, do your best to follow through. If you miss the odd session, be honest with your coach about it. Your coach will appreciate your truthfulness.

Your coach will also be in a far better position to help you. If you are not making the expected progress and your coach is unaware that your diet or auxiliary training program isn’t on point, then he may make unnecessary adjustments in an attempt to get you moving ahead again.

What To Look For In a Trustworthy Coach

Trust is a two-way street. We’ve discussed how you can prove your trustworthiness to a coach, but how can they prove their trustworthiness to you? Here are a few traits to look for in a coach:

A ‘You’ Focus

Your coach is there to help you to achieve your goals. As a result, you should be the focus, not him. If you find that your coach spends an inordinate amount of time talking about himself, then it may be difficult to trust that he has you as his central focus.

A ‘you’ focused coach will be more interested in building you up than in proving how great he is. He needs to be an inspirer with the ability to get you to believe in yourself.  This approach may involve positive reinforcement, commendation, and celebration of your successes. Your coach should learn what motivates you and tap into the triggers that will bring out your best performance, leaving you feeling great about yourself and the efforts you have expended.

Professional Boundaries

You need to have absolute trust that your coach will always adhere to proper professional boundaries. It is inevitable that you and your coach will be close but that doesn’t mean that he has the right to invade your personal space.

Your coach will get to see you at your most exhausted and will inevitably be required to touch you at times. If you have any doubts about the professional ethics of your coach, you will never develop the trust that is vital to a fruitful relationship.

Professional boundaries with your coach involves limiting friendships outside of the gym. Such a relationship can blur the boundaries between coach and contender, in the same way that a teacher-student friendship would. It may lead to a relaxed, casual attitude toward the coaching that you are receiving and a diminishing of the perceived authority and expertise of the coach.


You and your coach are a team. You are working together on a joint project, which is to propel you to your goals as quickly as possible. That means that you should formulate your goals together and collaborate on your training program. A coach who tells you to what to do without actively seeking your input is not going to engender trust. Remember, your coach should be a more knowledgeable partner, not a boss.

Time for a Trust Fall

Trust is the glue that cements relationships together. When it comes to the relationship between you and your coach, trust is a vital ingredient for success. Without it, there can be no meeting of the minds, no open dialogue, and no passionate teamwork. When trust is at the core of the coach-contender relationship, the two of you will able to move ahead as one as you move towards the achievement of your goals. As a pair, you will be limitless in the pursuit of your goals.

Want to learn more about the talented Gloveworx Coaches? Click here to meet them!