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UK Coaching Team

Guide to Understanding Lifestyle, Health, and Well-being

With this comprehensive guide on the Coach Learning Framework's 'Understanding Lifestyle, Health and Well-being’ theme – jam-packed with practical tips, ideas, and the key points to help you put what you learn into practice – you’ll find the knowledge and tools to help you support participants to build healthy and appropriate lifestyles and take steps to improve their health and well-being

Coaches wear many hats, and the role of a coach goes far beyond the technical and tactical elements of sport. Coaching holistically involves supporting your participants to develop as people through physical activity and sport, and to adjust their lifestyles to improve their health and well-being.

This guide – exclusive for UK Coaching Club Subscribers – will help you support the people you coach to build active and empowering lifestyles and to take steps to improve their health and well-being.

  • Monitoring the well-being of your participants and yourself. Consider your preferred methods to ensure that the people you coach can participate.
  • Mental health. Explore strategies for boosting and improving mental health, and how you can effectively support your participants.
  • Crafting a balanced lifestyle. Supporting the people you coach to have healthy, active lifestyles is part and parcel of holistic coaching.
  • Nutritional literacy. Empower the people you coach to make good decisions about food and nutrition.

A sound understanding of health and well-being and a strong personal connection with the people you coach is necessary to empower them to make good lifestyle choices throughout their lives. But to support them effectively, you need to also focus on your own lifestyle, health and well-being.

Understanding the need for holistic development

Well-being can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole."

New Economics Foundation

There are many definitions of well-being. It’s broadly accepted as "the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy", though achieving it can be complex and reliant on several internal and external factors.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified that an individual must have their needs met to achieve their full potential.

Maslow stated that human behaviour is motivated, and that motivation is driven by the need to achieve potential in life and avoid dissatisfaction.

Maslow’s hierarchy states that an individual’s basic physiological needs must be fulfilled first before seeking safety, order, and predictability in life. This can then be followed by a sense of belonging, love and affection, and purpose before looking to an ideal version of themselves. Needs that are not fully met drive motivation and then cease to motivate when fulfilled.

Though widely accepted, the hierarchy is portrayed as rigid and linear, and has been widely critiqued.

Maslow continued to redefine and expand his theory over time and stated that the order of need isn’t rigid and that the fulfilment of one need was not dependent of another.

This highlights the fact that while we have complex universal needs, we don't all place these needs in the same order.

Our focus on certain needs can shift over time, and our needs can vary greatly from one person to another dependant on factors such as age.

When considering your role in developing participants holistically, it’s important to recognise that the people you coach must have a base level of need fulfilment, as unfulfilled needs drive motivation. For example, it’s essential to fulfil psychological needs for physical activity and sport, as individuals must fuel, hydrate their bodies and sleep to perform at their best.

Throughout our life course, we strive for personal growth, happiness, a healthy body and mind, pursuit of life goals, and to achieve our full potential. These combined factors help to create our sense of well-being.

Achieving a strong sense of well-being can help us appraise and overcome challenges and difficulties in our lives to become the best versions of ourselves.

Become part of the exclusive UK Coaching Club to unlock this guide and you’ll also gain access to 34 guides, infographics, expert opinions, tips, webinars, videos and stories on the ‘Lifestyle, Health and Well-being’ theme of the Coach Learning Framework, including:

Use this guide, as well as the accompanying resources you’ll unlock by becoming a UK Coaching Subscriber, to learn how to support the people you coach to build healthy and active lifestyles that suit their needs.

To unlock this full resource, you need to become a UK Coaching Club Premium Member.

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UK Coaching Team