Want to Take It Up a Notch?

by Sandy Todd Webster on May 01, 2006


Attend a certificate course on leadership and management skills for personal training and fitness directors at the 2006 IDEA World Fitness ConventionĀ®.

Most fitness professionals who land in the ranks of facility management don’t necessarily do so by design. Your passions for movement, physiology and inspiring others through teaching are what led you into the fitness fold.

Some of you may have been lucky enough to be taken under the wing of a mentor, so your transition into management seemed a natural progression. But many more of you may have been thrown into the management ranks unprepared. You’ve learned and practiced on the job, which is fine, but wouldn’t the experience have been much less stressful with some basic training? Couldn’t you still use some guidance on day-to-day challenges?

What if you or a few promising future managers at your facility were given a chance to absorb a basic management skill set in a certificate course designed specifically to grow fitness professionals into bigger shoes? Would you take advantage of it?

The opportunity is here, and the time is now. IDEA has designed a special 6-hour certificate in management preconference course called “Leadership & Management Skills for Personal Training and Fitness Directors,” for the 2006 IDEA World Fitness Convention. Scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, the course is the foundational piece of a curriculum with several layers of management training for personal training, group exercise and facility management. Upcoming IDEA events will feature additional specialty certificates in sales, customer relations, financial management and marketing.

Leading a team of personal trainers or group instructors can be one of the most challenging aspects of becoming a fitness manager. This course—led by veteran owner-managers, authors and presenters Nicki Anderson (owner, Reality Fitness Inc., in Naperville, Illinois) and Sherri McMillan, MSc (co-owner Northwest Personal Training in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon)—will guide attendees through the most important skills needed to develop a successful team, including nurturing and empowering employees and inspiring them to work toward a common vision. You’ll gain clarity in your role as a leader to give you practical skills that will help launch your growth and development on the journey to reaching your leadership potential. After implementing these tools, you’ll gain internal satisfaction as you watch every member of your team perform at exceptional levels. “This management certification course is invaluable for fitness directors—new and experienced,” says McMillan. “Utilizing the systems we’ll share with you will save you time, energy and a lot of headaches. And you’ll impress your facility owners with a world-class fitness program that enhances the club’s bottom line.”

Planning this course was rewarding for Anderson because, she says, it gave her an opportunity to revisit some areas that perhaps she has taken for granted over the past few years or simply overlooked. “Management is leadership, no matter how you slice it. You are not only leading others; you are leading a business to success, and that can be an awesome responsibility,” she says. “Sherri and I have put together this course in the hopes that managers might be reminded of some things they’ve let go, but most important, [we’ll be] providing them with the necessary tools to help them move themselves and their staffs toward excellence in management, training and leadership.”

McMillan concurs, adding, “With our combined years of experience, Nicki and I hope to provide fitness directors with a solid understanding of the most important principles of leadership. But above and beyond that, we want attendees to walk away with materials, resources and practical skills that they can use immediately to motivate their staff to perform at their best and to produce the results that their club owners demand.”

Anderson says that one key piece of ground they will cover in the course that she wishes she had known more about before becoming an owner/manager is time management. “Sherri and I share so many similar beliefs about the importance of valuing staff and members, but when it came to developing the time management segment, I saw how valuable that was and still is for me. It’s so easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed with the day-in and day-out responsibilities of management. If I had had some tried-and-true suggestions and ideas for appropriate time management skills, I would have saved a lot of money on aspirin! My experiences—both good and not so good—are what I plan on bringing to the table. It’s all about trial and error, and when you find what works for you, it will add to your productivity and overall sense of organization.”

McMillan says that too many managers find themselves spending the majority of their time completing busywork and then finding they have no time for the high-yield activities, adding, “This course will provide fitness directors with a plan and a timeline that will maximize success.”

Anderson sums up the value of the certificate course this way: “As the industry evolves, we recognize all of the components necessary to grow and manage a successful business. Whether you are a one-woman operation or a 50,000-square-foot facility, this program will cover all the bases, leaving you better equipped for your role as manager, owner or trainer, all of which are positions of leadership.”

Want more from Sandy Todd Webster?

IDEA Fitness Manager, Volume 18, Issue 3

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© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.