Put Your Athlete First: How to Build Rapport

Chris Holder
Kettlebells, Strength and Conditioning, Martial Arts

My athletes are my world. It is my job to make them strong and fast, but on a fundamental level, I also care about them as people. I might not be able to reach each one of them, but it won’t be from a lack of trying. I know many of you aren’t college strength coaches, but your relationships with your clients is as pivotal as mine is with my athletes.


Building rapport with the people you train is crucial for success. Those first few minutes of dialogue to create a relationship with a potential new client is the lifeblood of your business.


I have five people who I consider to be the most effective models of rapport building: Brett Nichols, Andrew Read, Don Saladino, Mike Kent, and Tommy Hoke. All of these men are enormously successful, have thriving businesses, or are leaders in collegiate strength programs. I have learned more from them than I have from everyone else in my professional life combined. And the majority of that knowledge is not about intricacies of technique; rather, it’s about how they interact with clients.


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