(OTP#97) How to Assess Clients Online

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The Episode: How to Assess Clients Online

We have seen, time and again, how newer coaches give too much attention to assessments with their clients. That is not to say that assessments have no utility, rather that, too much emphasis is placed on this part of a coaching plan. You do need a way to measure progress, as well as maintain an understanding and excitement around your program though, so how should you go about approaching assessments? As usual, the simplest solution seems to win: keep the assessments basic and safe, while tailored to a particular person’s needs. That way, you get away from redundancy and any pitfalls around motivation and injury. If you can find suitable ways to show the progress a client is making, you will keep them interested, committed, and engaged!

In This Episode

  • The potential usefulness of simple assessments
  • Finding reliable ways to measure and assess online
  • Basic steps for beginners and assuming the need for this
  • Real-world assessments based on applicable measures


“You really do have to favor reliability over validity.” — Jonathan Goodman


Keeping Assessments Simple and Effective

The reality is that assessments do have their uses, but are not quite as important as they are sometimes made out to be. The trend also appears to be that as trainers gain more experience, they rely less and less on assessment protocols. This might be because stock processes can lead to improper conclusions, or just the lessons you learn make them less necessary. You may want to do a basic assessment around pain and discomfort when starting out with a new client, but the number one thing to keep in mind is to favor reliability while you are trying to track progress.

Parts of Assessments to Avoid

When beginning a client journey, with an individual and a group, it can be quite powerful to start with the very basics, which makes the needs for assessments less pressing. Newer trainers seem to feel the need to do more assessment, which is somewhat unsurprising as they feel more compelled to exhibit so-called value. Unfortunately, this justification is not well-founded, and we recommend matching your assessment and plan more closely to a particular client’s needs. You want to avoid the kinds of processes that might bring them down and stall their momentum!

The Focus of Your Client Assessments

A great place to start if you are looking for assessments to do is with real-world applicability. This can be around clothes that a person wears, or an activity they do consistently, through which they may notice some progress. Your priorities should be to keep them safe, and measure progress. Avoid thinking in terms of impressing peers and even your clients, keep your eyes on the goal of serving your client before all else.


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