Covid-19: a boon for personal sports coaches


The health crisis linked to the Covid-19 epidemic has led to many upheavals in the daily life of the French, especially in terms of sports. Between confinements and curfews, 6 out of 10 people still state that they maintain regular physical activity. With the closing of gyms, training at home has become the norm. And to face this new situation, personal sports coaches must use their ingenuity to reinvent themselves.

Covid-19 and sports practice: what is the situation?

You will probably not have missed it, the gyms have been closed for several months. It is therefore several million French people who found themselves, overnight, deprived of regular physical activity which they nevertheless need.

Indeed, the practice of sport plays an essential role for physical and mental health. It is not by chance that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity sport each week. Such a practice tends in fact to improve the efficiency of the cardio-respiratory system, to promote a suitable muscular and bone state and to limit the risk of diseases such as depression.

Overall, the French seem to be aware of the benefits of physical activity. According to a study carried out in July 2020 by the IFOP institute for Urban Sports Club, 89% of them say that sport is a vector of well-being. But in the face of Covid-19, have they managed to maintain their activity?

With the spread of teleworking, many French people now see sport as an essential moment of decompression. Still according to the study conducted for Urban Sports Club, 37% of respondents plan to go to the gym more often in the future (compared to 20% today).

But in practice, it is necessary to distinguish two categories of people. According to an IFOP study for Fitness Magazine carried out in May 2020, only French people already used to practicing sport regularly increased their activity during this period of health crisis. The less athletic, for their part, at best maintained their pace or, in the worst case, slowed down their practice.

There was therefore no sporting revolution in France, contrary to what the images of the quays of Paris crowded with joggers might have suggested. On the other hand, it is clear that the way of practicing has evolved considerably, in particular to face new health constraints. Many personal sports coaches have understood this well.

Sports coaches forced to rethink their activity

Despite the closure of sports halls, the Covid-19 could therefore be a boon for personal sports coaches. The health crisis has indeed led to an evolution of uses, with in particular a strong digitalization of the sector. According to the Sport-Health Barometer published by the French Federation of Physical Education and Voluntary Gymnastics (FFEPGV), 39% of respondents took advantage of the situation to take online sports lessons, whether with coaches or apps, and this with a double objective: to increase their physical health and their mental well-being.

To meet this demand, professionals in the sector have therefore devised new solutions, starting with sports coaches. According to Thibault Richard, founder of ProTrainer, a company specializing in personal sports coaching, during the first confinement, requests for online coaching were multiplied by five. Many trainers who previously exercised indoors or at home now offer fitness or bodybuilding classes online. Some use video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype or Google Meet to organize individual or small group sessions. For the coach, this has the advantage of being able to correct the movements made in real time. Likewise, it can adapt live if the exercises are too easy or, conversely, too difficult.

Others prefer recorded video lessons, via Youtube or other apps such as ZFitness, which offers more than 380 online sports lessons, and send detailed training plans to their clients. Some brands have even taken advantage of the context to offer an excellent playground for sports coaches and allow their subscribers to exercise. This is for example the case of Decathlon which offers lives on Instagram several times a day with Emilie Détré, a qualified coach, and Morgan Charrière, professional MMA fighter.

In addition to digital services, many athletic trainers have seen the demand for individual physical classes increase. At home or outdoors, these personal coaching sessions are indeed an excellent way for athletes, mainly CSP +, to compensate for the absence of sports halls, all while respecting barrier gestures.

The advantages of support from a personal sports coach

But what is the point of being accompanied by a personal coach, when thousands of videos available on the web present detailed workouts to be carried out at home?

The main advantage concerns support. Concretely, the sports coach will carry out an individualized follow-up to allow you to achieve your goals, whether it is to lose weight, gain muscle mass or simply improve your general physical condition. The exercises offered will be adapted to your level and your ambitions. He can also give you personalized nutritional advice.

Likewise, if you lack regularity in sports, hiring a coach is a great way to stay motivated. It is indeed more difficult to give up during a difficult training session in the presence of a trainer than alone in front of your smartphone or computer screen.

Finally, in the case of sessions at home or outdoors, you will not need to invest in equipment since your coach has all the necessary equipment (mats, rubber bands, dumbbells, etc.).

How to choose the right sports coach?

The first thing to check before choosing a sports coach is that he is in possession of his professional card. The latter simply attests to its success in the exam, and therefore to its ability to take charge of you. Also check that the coach is declared and insured, this will allow you to be covered in the event of an accident.

You can also find out about the experience of the coach. In fact, the best way to choose a sports coach is word of mouth. Do not hesitate to ask your entourage or to survey the former clients of the targeted trainer to find out their opinions.

Before committing yourself, it may also be wise to organize a first physical or virtual meeting. This will be an opportunity for you to reveal your expectations and verify that the coach can help you achieve your goal. Some even offer a free first trial session!

The price of a personal trainer depends on several criteria: the duration of the session, the place, its notoriety and the type of sport practiced. For personal coaching at home, count between 40 € and 90 € per hour. Plan at least two sessions per week to hope to get results.

Coaching at home being considered a personal service, you benefit from a reduction or a tax credit of 50% on all the hours worked. In other words, a one-hour workout for € 60 will actually cost you € 30.

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