BACKGROUND: A health coaching intervention in addition to usual physiotherapy care increased recovery expectation and activity in people with non-chronic NSLBP and low recovery expectation. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to fully describe the coaching intervention to allow replication and enable a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind health coaching in this setting. METHODS: A qualitative analysis was conducted using notes taken by the coach during the health coaching intervention. Two researchers independently applied open coding and content analysis, using the factors of low recovery expectation identified in a previous qualitative investigation as a framework. RESULTS: For the majority of participants coaching rapidly progressed to goal setting and action planning, with less time spent on increasing the importance and confidence to return to activity. The factors of the person, progression, pain, performance and treatment were addressed across all phases of the coaching intervention. CONCLUSION: This effective health coaching intervention for people with non-chronic NSLBP and low recovery expectation concentrated on goal setting and action planning and addressed the essential factors of recovery expectations. This study suggests that coaching interventions are likely to be different in this population compared to similar interventions in chronic conditions due to pre-existing levels of readiness to change.