When I started out as a personal trainer I felt like I had a decent understanding of the “body” (though I would clearly learn more and grow). However, I have felt that having a greater understanding of the “mind” (especially in these initial stages) would have made a more significant impact my clients and my professional success.
I have a very obvious bias in that the majority of the time I have worked as a personal trainer and health coach I was concurrently working towards my doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in motivation or change psychology. Despite that fact, I still feel and felt that a deeper understanding of the mental side, motivation, cognition, behavior management, etc. was needed and would have had a greater impact on my comfort, confidence, and effectiveness.
I am just wondering if others had a similar experience where understanding people and their needs became a critical component to the success of your work as fitness professionals. Or maybe there is another element that you have found to be the thing that transformed your ability to better serve your clients.
Please tell me what area i.e. group classes, small group, nutrition coaching, one-on-one personal training, etc. (be as specific as you would like) and the things that you learned later (on the job, in seminars, etc.) that you believe would have been helpful to have had exposed/mastered early on (again be as specific as you would like).
I’m definitely on board with you! I’d even argue that the ongoing quest to better understand the “mind” is equally as valuable a broadening your education with regard to how the “body” works.
If I lead a novice client through exercises, but they don’t incorporate the ideas surrounding “healthy living” into their lifestyle, how sustainable is that change? How much greater of an impact could I have had on them as a trainer?
In two words: a lot!
In hindsight, I also wish that I would have branched out into the online world from the get-go. I often read through message boards/forums (like this one on IDEA) but never actually took part in the conversations being had. A rookie mistake on my part!
Additionally, although my business had a website from the start I wasn’t using it in a dynamic way at all. Instead it just sat there, static, doing nothing to really attract an audience to it. Yet again, another mistake in my opinion.
Great question, Shaun, thanks for sparking a trip down memory lane!