Pooja Arora Explains the 5 Common Challenges Faced by Fitness Instructors
For a person who loves to be active and is passionate about helping others achieve their desired levels of activity and health, becoming a fitness instructor and making my passion my profession came naturally to me.
It is an exciting and a very rewarding job and being your own boss has its perks. With the demand for coaches increasing I see an increasing number of people wanting to become trainers. While it’s a great profession, in my journey of around 7 years as a coach I see many challenges that new instructors may face and may feel daunted by once they take the plunge.
Building a brand and finding your niche:
The instructor is a fairly broad term, becoming one will require a certification with knowledge of anatomy and physiology, exercise science and some soft skills. Once a person has done that, they can now train.
Question is who to train and where to start. That’s a challenge most newcomers face. What is it that is unique to me, that I can build on and create a brand around that? Many things would affect that decision.
Once an instructor understands what must be their area of work then one can build a brand around that.
As a freelance instructor, the biggest challenge is to make the client understand the value of what is given to them and be prompt with payments. Since there isn’t a big company or set of legal documents signed, clients tend to pull back on paying on time or respect the instructor’s time slots.
How I have handled this challenge is clear communication of expectation, and ensuring in case my time slot was allotted and the client has a no-show forfeit the class.
An important point to remember is even though an instructor's work stems from passion, being firm about money is an important aspect of the business.
Social media influence:
As fitness instructors, we innovate a lot. Ideas that stem from what works and doesn’t on our bodies and many hours of hard work at the gym. Today’s abundance of videos on social media poses a challenge on keeping a paying client as free information is very readily available.
How I have dealt with this is never stop innovating and making the class interesting and fun. Currently, I have been practicing the Speedo AquaFit Training program which is a great way to mix up a traditional gym workout with the wondrous benefits of water. In addition, Speedo’s line of technologically advanced and innovative products also help in improving the technique of swimmers in the pool by creating an optimum body position by engaging your core muscles.
While we as trainers and coaches can do our best on an hour of training, the rest of the 23 hours of how a client spends his or her day is what matters and what will yield results.
Coaches work hard with the client during the session, but if they do not eat right and have a healthy lifestyle at other times it is futile.
Sometimes when we do not communicate or encourage a healthy lifestyle, slow results can demotivate the client and they might end up blaming the coach. Set realistic expectations with your clients in the beginning so they know results depend on their efforts as well.
Instructors own training:
Last but not the least the biggest challenge I faced as a coach was when my day would go coach for hours on end in the pool resulting in very less time and energy for my own fitness.
My advice to new coaches will be to ensure enough rest and a fixed slotted time for their own training. As much as we like to add health and happiness to our clients lives having a fit body and a strong one is important for a coach and in turn inspiring for clients too.
There are challenges in every profession but if fitness is your calling and passion then take the plunge. There can be nothing better than making a living from doing what you love.
This Article has been written by Pooja Arora, Speedo Fitness Expert.