“Being relentless means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you're good, it means you don't stop until you're great. If you're great, it means you fight until you're unstoppable." —Tim S. Grover Relentless

Elite athletes are visionaries. They are known for their innate ability to react, their confidence, their leadership, and their fighting spirit. They climb to the top of their sport battling through many obstacles and eventually end up reaping the rewards with success in their given profession. We must accept that this success is often met with age, injury, and other circumstances.

Once retired from their sport, many athletes stay within the fitness industry and become coaches, trainers, etc. But going from top athletic performer to fitness professional may come with its own set of growing pains. What are some mistakes that athletes can make during this transition? Here is a list of some common errors. As a former athlete, I speak from personal experience. I transitioned into the fitness industry eight years ago and have learned these lessons along the way.

1. The way you have trained as an athlete has been extremely successful for you. Be aware that if you train your clients the exact way you train yourself, it may not yield the same outcome. Just because you have a routine that you enjoy and exercises that have been successful for you, doesn't mean that they will work for others and/or should be used on your clients. In addition, what you like or do and how you train yourself may not be optimal for accomplishing the true goals and needs of your client.

2. An athlete's priority is taking care of themselves and their body to succeed in their given sport. A trainer needs to understand that to many, fitness is simply a part of the pie comprised of family, work, etc. Finding time to exercise may be a luxury, or may be difficult for some clients. What may seem inconsequential to an athlete can be very real to your regular (or non-regular) gym goer.

3. Successful athletes have great habits, unrivaled discipline, and relentless mental focus. The qualities that are innate to athletes may oftentimes be missing in your clients. You cannot assume your client has these qualities, and it could be easy for frustration to set in with questions such as “Why can't my client stay away from sweets if they want to lose weight?" and “How is it I give my client a workout to do on their own and they don't do it?" This is where a thorough assessment when beginning with a client is vital and should be extremely helpful. Ask questions that allow you to learn what the client needs and what has been difficult in the past. Do they need help with a nutrition behavior? Has commitment been an issue in the past? Let the client's obstacles lead your coaching style. What may seem like a no-brainer habit for an athlete may very well be quite the challenge for a client.

4. Whether it's off-season or during season, athletes know how to prepare. There are specific habits that are followed leading up to an event. Outside of a client who is training for a marathon, triathlon, etc., the general client doesn't necessarily need to “peak." Knowing your clients' goals will allow you to have a different mentality. Perhaps your client just wants to “tone up" or “feel healthier." Since they may not be training for a specific event/game/etc., you may find that you should approach training these individuals quite differently from how you would train a top athlete. (The number 1 functional training mistake is not defining a goal).

5. As an athlete, your focus was on one particular skill set. You knew exactly what you needed to do to excel and succeed in your sport. When entering the fitness industry as a trainer, there's a good chance that you haven't been exposed to a variety of training philosophies, techniques, etc., that could really expand your knowledge base and thought processes. Athletes need to continue to play to their strengths and to improve their weak links by attending seminars and workshops, finding mentors, studying, and reading, so they can become as versatile as possible and have more than one tool in their toolbox.

Top athletes achieve because they are relentless. Having that same attitude, with the willingness to learn and the drive to continue to improve can give former athletes a brand new successful career path.

About the Author: Giovanni, a graduate of Michol Dalcourt's Institute of Motion Level 1 & 2 mentorships, is currently a Tier 4 Coach for Equinox's private training facility “E" in Greenwich, Connecticut. Additionally, he is a master instructor for ViPR and Kettlebell Athletics. Giovanni is a part of Nike's exclusive trainer network where he is involved in exciting, upcoming projects for the fitness powerhouse. In January 2015, he was selected as one of 14 trainers from around the world by renowned fitness website PTontheNet to be an official global ambassador for the company. You can learn more about Giovanni at www.GiovanniRoselli.com or follow him on Twitter @GiovanniRoselli

If you enjoyed this article, check these out next…

Slowing Down the Game: 6 Tips to Help Excel in Life & Sports

HIIT vs Overtraining: Where and How to Draw the Line