Not many people know this about me…
Back in 1999, I’d already failed my PE teaching degree and switched to a Sports Science one, when I got my first official fitness qualification (Circuit Training, in case you’re curious), the regulation of the industry didn’t really exist.
Qualifications were there to take if you wanted to, but you didn’t NEED them to teach classes.
REPs didn’t exist yet (although it wasn’t far away), and a Sports Science degree was considered far superior to a Personal Training qualification.
Because of the industry’s drive to develop a cohesive career path and qualification framework so that they could make sure that fitness professionals actually knew what they were doing, education became the dominant message.
It still is.
And so it should be.
Since 1999, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of money on my professional education, believing that with each certificate, I’d be improving my coaching skills and developing my knowledge so that I could better serve my clients.
And I’m not alone.
Many tens of thousands of coaches and fitness professionals have, are doing, and will do the same.
Why is this important to you?
Because I made a HUGE mistake with each and every qualification I’ve taken and I don’t want you to make the same one…
I mistook my own curiosity and insatiable appetite for learning for being able to help my clients more.
The cold, hard reality is that the more I specialised and the more I learned about injuries, the LESS I was helping my clients.
Because nobody showed me how to blend my new learning into the free-flowing training session that my clients wanted.
I could logically explain my actions to them, which helped them get on board, but actually took them further away from what they had orginally wanted from me.
In 2006, after graduating from my MSc in Sport Injury, I could recognise certain injuries, and help to rehabilitate people after their stint with the physio.
In my excitement for my new knowledge, I started seeing these problems in everyone and got drawn into “fix it” mode, which meant that I’d explain to my clients that these issues were holding them back from reaching their goals and that we needed to focus on these first.
They’d agree and we’d start doing sessions that I believed my clients needed… but it wasn’t what they’d originally wanted.
A year or so later, I got my Corrective Exercise Specialist qualification which meant following a strict sessions structure that always started with foam rolling, then stretching, then moved on to isolation strengthening movements and only at the very end (maybe 15 minutes of the session) was spent doing the hard sweaty work my clients originally wanted to do.
The rest was spent doing what I believed they needed.
By the time I’d qualified to actually TREAT people for their injuries in 2011, I somehow managed to convince my clients that laying on a table to have treatment was more important than the exercise they’d originally set out to work with me for.
So, they stopped leaping about and started laying on a table (how I convinced them to do that I’m not sure but it must have made sense to them!).
Again, this was feeding what I wanted to be doing, not what THEY wanted.
At this point you might be thinking “yeah but you just weren’t getting the right kinds of clients” – and that’s true, but in those days, Personal Training was thought of as a luxury that only the rich and famous could afford.
So, as a self-employed PT, I took every client I possibly could – because you never knew where the next one would come from!
The problem is, that the majority of continuing education courses on the market these days are designed to develop our technical knowledge of a subject, but they don’t really focus on giving us the practical skills to be able to keep giving our clients what they want, while feeding our curiosity and love of learning.
All our clients really want is to train hard, have fun and socialise.
Anything that we add into their session HAS to keep delivering that otherwise it’s feeding our own needs, not theirs.
That’s why, when I was creating the SMARTT® Coach Education Series, the focus is firmly on BLENDING your new knowledge with your existing coaching practices, so that your clients can benefit from all your fancy-pants know-how, without even needing to be aware of it if they don’t want!
I know, it’s difficult to believe but most clients don’t actually care about how much you know, they just want to be confident that you can help them with what THEY care about.
So, if you’re curious creature like me, you’ve got a serious case of whyerrea (always asking why) and you want to do everything you can to better serve your clients, check out the SMARTT® Coach Level 1 online training called “The Vault of Injury Prevention Secrets” here
Since pain is the one thing that can stand between your clients and their dream results, helping them avoid it for good is probably the most beneficial thing you can do for them as their coach!