The Art of Coaching, Part 2: Trust the Process

Focus on the Process to Get the Desired Result

Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

By Julie Hatfield, IYCA Brand Manager


It is only natural to want instant results. After all, as fitness professionals and coaches, it is our job to get results, and the faster that happens, the more we can build credibility, strengthen our reputation, and recruit more athletes through our programs and businesses. Still, the best coaches know that results come over time through sound training and consistency.

So, how do we get these results?

It is what I tell my athletes I coach: If we focus on the process, the bits and pieces are working together simultaneously. If we get the bits and pieces, we will get our desired result.

Focus on the mechanics of your skills, building strength and confidence, communicating with your athletes, building trust and relationships, and keeping your eyes on what is important: your athletes. If you do this, not only will your athletes succeed, but they also will come back time and time again, build your reputation, and keep your programs growing.

So, where do you start? Look at youth athletic development as a progression similar to grade school. It is only normal for our kids to start in kindergarten and work their way up, not the other way around. It is a step-by-step process that leads our kids to becoming better and learning. The tricky part is, not all students progress at the same rate and same level. The same is true for coaching. It is important to be able to coach to different learning abilities, skill levels, and motivation levels. This isn’t easy, and there isn’t one way to do it.

I have spent most of my career working on my methods, and although the core of them stay true to the IYCA ways, they are malleable depending upon my athletes. Part of focusing on the process is being able to understand that each athlete has their own unique process for learning, moving, and achieving success. Some learn quicker than others. Some are more athletic than others. Some have all the heart in the world, but no skill. Others have all the skill in the world, but no motivation. As coaches and trainers, we must be able to adjust without losing the essence of our goals.


As a business woman and coach, I have always believed that the most important thing in this industry is education, both for our athletes and for our coaches. The insight I have gained through the Youth Fitness Specialist Certification directly correlates with my ability to coach to the uniqueness of each athlete. It is about the process. Specifically for us, it is about the process of educating ourselves to better educate and teach our youth.

Educate yourself, know your processes, be willing to change, and success will come to you and your athletes.

3 Responses

  1. Doug Johnston says:

    Thank you for the article. There are so many variables that go into the process and as you said there isn’t just one way to get there. Prior to selecting the team for that year can be the most challenging. Assessing the talent by the program is one as you try to project who will be a varsity player in the next few seasons. Who will be on the team in your current season can be a very fine line as well as you can’t have all guards or all wing and post players. In the year round scenario that athletes are in now who is spending time on developing their own skills and not relying on that skill development from strictly their coach. The intangibles of basketball I.Q., decision making, coachability,desire, passion, commitment and many more are many times judged by coaches and we don’t get them always right which goes into the process of selection. It can be very tough being a coach as this is only the tip of the iceberg of what are some of the challenges we face each day in almost a 24/7 career that we have chosen.

  2. Fank Lupiani says:

    As a high school s&c coach I see every day what you are referring to about “their own unique process”. The toughest ones are those there because they have to be, the sad part is they are often good athletes but just don’t get it.

  3. jerry nininger says:

    Thank you, helpful.

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