I work at a university fitness center and run into this problem all the time. I call it “I can ride a bike, I can teach a group fitness cycling class” or “I can do a bicep curl, I can personal train anyone”. It is a fine line trying to encourage the students, but at the same time making them realize there is SO MUCH more to learn. How do you tame that cocky and arrogant attitude? The continuing education for these newbies just stops because they know it all. As an educator I am up for some ideas.
Hi Madelyn. Interesting question! I used to be the Director of Wellness and Fitness at a local College. While I never ran into this issue, I made it a point to have each of my Fitness Directors stay on top of our student staff by holding regular staff in-service meetings on topics such as ‘how to train’ or how to set-up a program… I have two thoughts. One would be to hold these types of meetings and during each have one of the students show/demonstrate/explain an aspect of training or an exercise. Not only will this potentially force them to ‘learn’ about the technique in preparation for the presentation, but it allows you to make suggestions/corrections etc. in front of the entire group so that in essence you are telling them ALL how you as their supervisor want it to be taught to gym goers.
Second, you may want to make t a policy that for the first X months (or whatever time frame you choose) ALL exercise or programming advice MUST be reviewed and cleared through you or some other experienced trainer who you trust and can assign that duty to. By establishing such a policy, you will not be singling out or embarrassing any one but instead will be applying the same requirements and standards to everyone. I realize that this can become cumbersome, but it may save you headaches and heartaches in the long run.
I hope that this helps.