How can a young trainer appear competent?
Hi, I'm a new trainer I'm 23 years old and I look young. What can I do to find people who will take me seriously and respect my knowledge to some degree? I don't know what kind of client likes to work with a young trainer. I would like to help those with lower or middle class incomes. Please share any ideas for a new trainer to find who they can help the most, Thank you.
Debbie's ideas are great. Just realize that most public programs are as strapped as the rest of us.
Stephen makes some great points. Don't ever try to answer a question that you don't know the answer to. Being yourself is the key. I've worked with a lot of trainers and coaches over the years and those who were most successful were those who were absolutely honest with their clients and their players. You don't know everything. Don't pretend to. Hopefully we all learn something new every day. It's okay to say "I don't know" when your client asks you a question that you don't know the answer to. And don't ever hesitate to consult with other professionals who may have more education/experience than you.
Keep studying, get to as many IDEA Personal Trainer conferences as you can, challenge yourself to get certified by a recognized agency (e.g. ACE, ACSM).
Good luck, Daniel
Having said that, a novice trainer usually has to start with comp session; to get exposure and experience.
One more comment on the wording of your question: you ask how you can "appear" competent. It may just be a linguistic sensitivity of mine but you want to give more than just the appearance of competence. Acting and looking professionally is important. Be also aware that people watch you when you are 'off duty'. You mentioned in an earlier question that you look younger than you are. Try to offset that by at least acting mature. You can then use your young appearance as a conversation starter.
It is important to strike a balance. You have bills to pay, and you cannot be an effective trainer it you live on constant worry about money. There is nothing unethical about making a decent living. That will enable you to further your education; just imagine having enough left over to go to one of the IDEA conferences.
One more thing.. GET INSURED!!! =)
With phys ed being cut in most schools and with the increasing rate of childhood obesity, your young appearance would definitely work in your favor as somewhat of a mentor for pre-teen and high school aged kids.
Do a search and see what programs may aready be in place in your community ... perhaps through parks & rec, schools, clubs such as the Boys & Girls Clubs or other organized community service projects. Maybe you can start your own Youth Conditioning after-school program and charge a minimal fee?
Fuel the Movement,
Go after your market, young kids need all the motivation you can give
Find your niche and do it!
Keep your certifications alive and continue learning
Chris Lutz-Master Trainer
Personal Trainer Store - http://www.spartatraining.com/store
I hope by now you have answered your question. It doesn't really matter which clients you might end up training as long as you stay informed, professional, disciplined, open minded and don't be afraid. Know your stuff and no client will be an obstacle for you. Many young trainers make the mistake that they are better than everyone else, only to see them exiting the industry after a relatively short period of time.