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Understanding Lifestyle, Health and Well-being

Develop your practice to support each person

In this theme of the Coach Learning Framework, you will find resources on:

  • 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.

Why is Understanding Lifestyle, Health and Well-being Important in Coaching?

People are biopsychosocial beings, made up of biological, psychological and social factors. As such, it is important to understand not only how to meet the needs of all three, but also how they are interconnected, so that you can support them in parallel. 

At the heart of this is a healthy lifestyle. The World Health Organisation defined health as ‘a complete state of mental, physical and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease.’ More recently, several steps, stages and strategies have been identified to help achieve optimum health.

As a coach, you’re best placed to support individuals through sport and physical activity to develop their holistic health. Importantly, though, this begins with your own health: you need to look after yourself to be able to effectively look after others.

A small but crucial step in improving well-being is ensuring that the people you coach feel a sense of connection, that there are values in place, and that they feel supported. It’s important to explore ways in which you can develop, nurture and grow these aspects of human development within your coaching practice.

Through the pillars below, find resources to help you on your journey to understanding lifestyle, health and well-being.

Monitoring Well-being

There are lots of ways to monitor well-being, from a 'check in' at the beginning of a session through to the regular monitoring of performance state through an app. While the context and environment that you coach within may alter, including what you monitor and your methods, the principle remains the same: you're ensuring that the person is ready to participate.

To improve this element of your coaching practice, explore how you check in with your participants to gauge their readiness to train and compete and to consider their mood state, recovery and muscle soreness, quality of sleep and training status.

Mental Health

Mental health and well-being are essential aspects of how we cope with daily life, and include how we feel and believe we are managing.

There are many factors that influence mental health, including connecting with others, being physically active, learning a new skill, giving to others through random acts of care and kindness, and being in the moment. For coaches in particular, it is essential to pay attention to how you feel, and to be present, noticing your thoughts and feelings as they arise.

Sport and physical activity can play a positive role in promoting mental health and well-being, but it's important to explore how you can directly and indirectly promote and support the people that you coach. After all, coaching is noticing.

Balanced Lifestyle

With many schedules overflowing with competing demands and increased opportunities, the need for a balanced, active lifestyle is even more important.

It is often said that 'you only get out what you put in,' and this applies to the mind and body too.

Create time and opportunity for your participants to express and receive gratitude, consider their emotional wellness and cultivate positive thoughts. It's also important to empower them to understand their nutritional needs and eat well, and to ensure they learn the benefits of regular exercise, rest and recovery.

These are all important aspects of holistic coaching.

    • How and Why Coaches Should Safeguard Adults in Sport and Physical Activity

    • The Five Conditions of Trust

    • Why is Trust Important in Coaching?

    • Safeguarding and Protecting Children – Frequently Asked Questions

    • Promoting Good Mental Health through Coaching (Part 2)

    • Promoting Good Mental Health through Coaching

    • Safeguarding and Protecting Children – Frequently Asked Questions

    • Promoting Good Mental Health through Coaching (Part 2)

    • Mental Health in Coaching


Free Resource Picks




Understanding the Role of the Coach in Nutrition

Developed in partnership with Registered Dietician and Performance Nutritionist Sarah Chantler, this infographic contains Sarah’s key insight into how a coach can support their athletes with their nutrition and practical steps to guide the development of ‘food literacy’




Fifteen Ways to Improve Coach Well-being

This infographic provides intuitive examples to boost your well-being, intended to encourage you to prioritise your physical and mental health and take the time to focus on yourself

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Developing Performance Lifestyle Skills

Performance Lifestyle and Education Manager at the Loughborough University Tennis Academy Alex Bailey discusses the importance of supporting the participants you coach to develop performance lifestyle skills. Have you considered which of your skills might aid the process?




Coaches and Clean Sport

In this recording of a Time2Learn session, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the Carnegie School of Sport (Leeds Beckett University) Dr Laurie Patterson encourages you to consider your role in promoting ‘clean sport’




Thinking About Food: Finding the Right Choice When Eating Out

Advice developed with Sarah Chantler (Registered Dietician at Food Ninja), to help coaches think about nutrition and guide the young people they coach to make positive food choices, including from their favourite fast food franchises

Coach Learning Framework

The Coach Learning Framework has been created to help you design memorable and engaging great coaching experiences that meet the needs of all your participants, regardless of your sport or physical activity.

Understanding Lifestyle, Health and Well-being is one of nine themes that comprise this insight-based framework.

Continue your journey through the framework to learn more about the other eight themes and the key attributes of high-quality coaching environments, and how you can demonstrate the skills, qualities and behaviours that will empower the people you coach to achieve their personal goals.