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.
I think we all have seen a few people along the way who seem to have all the answers early on in the game! I think I was probably even like that in some ways when I was just starting out too! Just to add to the great ideas already offered, one word that comes to mind is “mentoring.” I actually wrote an article about the “Magic of Mentoring” years ago, because I had the good fortune to have an amazing mentor early in my career. This person took me under his wing and provided encouragement and guidance–and most importantly, allowed me to make some pretty big mistakes and learn from them. Maybe you could pair your students up with an appropriate seasoned trainer and encourage learning by watching and doing that way. I know for me, it was an invaluable learning experience and shaped the way I moved forward in my career.
I also think that sometimes a person just has to learn the hard way. In terms of valuing the importance of staying current through continuing education, it is a very competitive industry out there these days. Your students will learn that without solid credentials and skills they will not be able to get the best and highest paying jobs that are out there. If they want to make fitness and wellness and career instead of a hobby, they will have to invest in continuing education. That may be all the motivation they need to get on board or move on to another career.
I hope that adds something to the discussion. Take care, Meg