21 Aug COACHING AND KIDS: BEING AN RNT PARENT
If you have ever worked as a coach on the gym floor, you’ll know how exhausting it is. The early starts, the late finishes, the long hours. Over time, it can take a toll on you, your relationships, and your family.
But why is this? It’s because your entire day revolves around your clients’ diaries. You work on their time, which means you must start when they start and finish when they finish.
For a new graduate or fresh-faced bachelor with little commitments, this life isn’t so bad. But what happens after this?
Having worked on the gym floor before I started RNT, I’ve seen many colleagues come and go, completely burn out, and end up in a miserable position. The primary reason is often the same: they are starting a family.
Can you image being a first-time parent to a new-born and trying to keep up this life? It’s an impossibility without harsh sacrifices and heavily impacting your family relationships. These long hours mean you will miss every feeding, every first step, and every first word.
This is something that no parent should miss out on.
The alternative is to give up your job. Which, if it’s your passion and what you worked so hard for, is another big personal and financial sacrifice.
Being a coach on the gym floor comes with either an expiry date or a huge personal expense. This is one of the reasons why the fitness profession and industry is not taken seriously. It doesn’t accommodate those with families and is not a stable career choice for those with family aspirations.
This is not a decision I wanted to face in the long run, and so I didn’t.
RNT’s digital system means coaches can work in their own time. Their diary no longer revolves around their clients – they fit them into their day so they can cater to their own lives whilst enjoying the benefits of having a sustainable and financially stable career.
Over half of the coaches at RNT are parents. Some have joined with families already, and others have experienced the joy of becoming parents whilst working with us and have been able to enjoy every step as a new parent.
Whether their working day starts after the school run, or even after the kids have been put to bed, as long as their client check-ins have been done for that day, they’re winning. Never again will they have to miss a birthday, a football match, or a sports day; our coaches can always be present in their children’s lives.
We asked some of our coaches that have children why the RNT way works for them.
“Having recently become an RNT coach, what drew me to this is the ability to manage my working life around my number one priority, which is without a doubt my children. Having the ability and freedom to structure my working day around my children is incredible as I feel I can now perform my best as my job as a coach and a parent at the same time.
Being a coach allows me to structure my day more effectively as I am not bound by the times I ‘need’ to work. It’s not a traditional 9-5, so I can have the ability to focus on my clients before the girls wake up, spend time with them and work around them instead and not compromise on either the children or my clients.
Prior to joining RNT, and I only realised this after joining, I didn’t have quality time with my children. Yes, I was there with them, but I was just in their presence. Now I am able to be there fully and concentrate on them wholeheartedly and find a good balance due to the flexibility I have.
For me, being a single parent, remote working gives me the ability to manage school drop offs, play dates, cooking/cleaning and all the other joys of being a parent without having to be reliant on childcare or feeling guilty about not being there for them. I set out space in my home so my girls know that when I am there, I am working so they need to leave me alone! But now when I leave that space, I am all theirs (which has its positives and negatives!).
I am able to now focus on myself as I fit my training in early in the morning and that gives me the ‘me time’ I find from training. Then, I focus on my clients and then my children once they are awake – this balance works well for me and I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to now be the best mum I can be to them whilst doing a job I truly care about and believe in.”
Coach Ed Pilkington
“I had set the goal of getting off the gym floor by the time I was 30 (I joined RNT at 28, so just made it!) as I knew that working as a PT would not have allowed me to live the life that I wanted long term.
We are able to build our schedules as we want. As long as we keep the work done and perform at a high level, then we are free to adjust the hours that we work around the other areas of our lives.
As a new parent, RNT has allowed me to adapt my schedule around appointments at the start (hospital trips, etc.) and now set my routine around my family.
For some people, I definitely think that digital is the way forward. I know some trainers who thrive off of the face to face interactions and so it would not work with them, but for many it would allow them to keep doing what they are doing but in a more sustainable way.
RNT made coaching people a sustainable career long term for me.”
“I stand by the fact that my kids are my most important non-negotiable and they ALWAYS come first, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our other non-negotiables in.
Digital working is amazing when it comes to a family – I am currently in the Dolomites writing this. I have been able to do all my check ins whilst travelling around Italy this year and whilst home schooling during lockdown, and it hasn’t impacted my kids.
As for clients with kids, the main face here that we can use is empathy as we truly understand the demands that clients with children also face. You wouldn’t get this insight and experience with most childless coaches. There are several strategies that we as coaches can put in place in order to meet ALL our non-negotiables, and I share these with my clients.
That’s the main thing, my family will always be my non-negotiable, and so if I can help others whilst not impacting my own, what better job is there?!”
Coach Ed Pimley
“Being an RNT coach has really helped me be more involved as a father of an 8-month-old. I know a lot of dads have to get straight back into work, and no matter the job it can really take away from a lot of big milestones early on. That is made worst when working as a face to face coach as the hours are always early morning and late evenings.
Working with RNT has really made balancing life, training, work and family a lot easier. The flexibility allows my wife and I to switch between morning duties and evenings duties to help keep each other sane and give us equal time with our son.
For me, the flexibility at the start being a parent and being able to do more with my days was a huge pull factor. Working face to face you are really limited to the hours you can work and that really affects any form of lifestyle. Now with RNT, I can travel, support my little family and still work without any stress of either not making money or feeling like I am missing out on everything.
I think with COVID, the online coaching world will 100% be the way forward. A lot of coaches have received a taste of what it’s like and going back to those long hours, nights and weekends will be tough. I think having the time to solely concentrate on coaching, learning the balance and flexibility that online coaching has and seeing just how successful you can be with clients achieving results will be a great pull to bring any good coach over to RNT.”
“As one of the new coaches at RNT, I have already seen how I can get a good work life balance. I love that fact that I can work my own hours, which allows me to work around my family rather than the other way around.
Before I was with RNT, I was trying to establish myself as a PT and I found this challenging because I was unable to give all the hours needed to be on the gym floor to gain clients whilst ensuring I was not compromising my home life.
I would have daily battles with myself as, first and foremost, I am a mother and that’s the most important job for me. But I also wanted to establish myself as a PT and pursue my career further so I could do the job I love to my full potential.
So when the role at RNT came up, it was a no brainer for me! Now both my daughters are in full-time education, I wanted a job that would work around them – my family are my non-negotiables. I want to see those smiley faces and get those big hugs when my daughters run out of school.
I know parents that have had personal and work battles. It’s heart-breaking as I can see how torn they are between work and their family and have no choice but to miss such vital events in their children’s’ lives.
I have been very fortunate to be present in my children’s lives due to remote working, something my parents were unable to do. I missed my parents not being present at my assemblies and sports days, and this is one of the many reasons I wanted to make sure that any job I accepted offered remote working.
This was definitely a big pull factor for me with RNT. I definitely think all companies should consider remote/digital working (where possible), as not all parents are able to work full-time without it compromising their family life.”
The Future Of The Coaching Profession?
Many of our coaches have come to us exasperated and frustrated with the fitness industry because they have no time for their personal life. As an industry, coach retention isn’t great, and it’s not fair that so many coaches are forced to throw in the towel early because their chosen career path cannot accommodate what constitutes as a ‘normal’ family life when so many other careers can. I think this is one of the main reasons why being a professional within this industry is not taken seriously. This needs to change – and this is what RNT can offer.
RNT actively encourages a healthy work/life balance; the client isn’t bound by the working hours of their coach, and the coach isn’t tied to every client’s schedule, providing the much-needed time for personal lives. The client’s experience is not affected, but the coaches’ is enhanced. RNT is a two-way street, and it works.
What’s more, we provide our coaches with a platform to focus purely on coaching, negating the need to spend their precious personal hours doing admin, catching up on business development, or having to reach targets when that time should be reserved for family life.
This is one of the many reasons why RNT attracts such high-quality coaches, we provide them with an opportunity to pursue the career they want whilst being able taking care of their family – there are no sacrifices. This we see this as the way forward for our industry and the many coaching professionals just like us.
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