Cognitive biases and group coaching in CrossFIt

Fitness coaching is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. People hire personal trainers or join fitness groups to help them achieve their fitness goals. However, despite having good intentions, coaches and clients alike may fall prey to cognitive biases. These biases can affect the coach-client relationship and ultimately, hinder the achievement of fitness goals. Group coaching in fitness is a popular approach to overcoming cognitive biases.

Cognitive Bias

Cognitive bias refers to the systematic error in thinking that affects our decision-making processes. These biases can stem from our past experiences, beliefs, and attitudes. Cognitive biases can manifest in various ways, including confirmation bias, availability heuristic, and anchoring bias.

Confirmation bias occurs when we seek out information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs while disregarding any contradictory evidence. Availability heuristic refers to the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of an event based on how easily we can recall similar occurrences. Anchoring bias is the tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information we receive when making subsequent decisions.

In fitness coaching, these biases can result in a coach recommending a particular workout regimen because it has worked for them in the past, or a client believing that they are not making progress because they are not losing weight, despite having gained muscle mass.

Group Coaching

Group coaching, for exemple CrossFit, is an approach to coaching where a coach works with a group of people, typically in a fitness class setting. Group coaching can help overcome cognitive biases by providing diverse perspectives and feedback.

In a group coaching setting, the coach can receive feedback from multiple participants, allowing them to identify any biases they may have. For example, a coach may recommend a particular exercise routine because it worked well for them in the past. Still, through group coaching, they may receive feedback from other participants who have tried different routines, which may ultimately lead to a better workout plan.

Similarly, group coaching can help clients overcome their biases by allowing them to interact with people who have different experiences and perspectives. Clients can learn from each other and gain a better understanding of their progress by seeing the progress of others in the group.

How a coach can overcome these Biases

To overcome cognitive biases in classes, a coach should be aware of their biases: The first step in overcoming cognitive biases is to acknowledge that they exist. Coaches can reflect on their own beliefs, attitudes, and past experiences that may affect their decision-making. This awareness can help coaches recognize when their biases are affecting their recommendations and adapt accordingly.

Coaches can ask participants for feedback on their workout plans and exercise recommendations. This feedback can provide diverse perspectives and help identify any biases that may be influencing their decisions.Coaches can also rely on evidence-based practices and research to guide their recommendations. This approach can help minimize the influence of personal biases and ensure that recommendations are based on sound scientific principles.

Encouraging diversity in the class, including age, gender, fitness level, and experience, can help overcome biases. Participants with different experiences and perspectives can provide valuable feedback and challenge pre-existing beliefs. Monitor progress: Coaches can track progress and objectively assess whether their recommendations are effective. This approach can help identify any biases that may be affecting their decision-making and allow for adjustments to be made as needed.

In other words, coaches can overcome cognitive biases in classes by being aware of their biases, seeking feedback from participants, using evidence-based practices, encouraging diversity in the class, and monitoring progress. These strategies can help coaches make more informed decisions and ultimately provide better recommendations to their clients.

How is your coaching style and how much do you consdier these biases? If you want to discuss this topic with me and improve your coaching skills, just cal me.

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