Training a client one-on-one as a personal trainer can be a nerve wracking experience for a newly certificated specialist. When one considers that the personal trainer is acting as a teacher and coach, hoping to motivate and educate his or her client to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle while getting them through their workouts safely, they may understand the anxiety a new trainer may experience.
This anxiety and lack of confidence may be amplified when a personal trainer decides to branch out into group fitness instructing-becoming responsible for the safety, guidance, and motivation of an entire class.
Tips to improve fitness group instructor confidence
In the October/November 2009 issue of ACE Certified News, fitness pro Amanda Vogel offered several great tips for group fitness instructors to help improve their level of confidence until they become more comfortable in front of a group of clients. Below are five of her tips to help improve a group fitness instructor's confidence level.
Know the lesson plan
Every teacher aims to effectively communicate and demonstrate the tasks they assign to their students. Prior to teaching their classes, many teachers study their lesson plans. The same method of preparation works for group fitness instructors. The more comfortable the fitness instructor is with the exercises and routines they have devised, the easier it will be to make the members in the group feel more at ease with the exercises and routines in which they are participating.
Know what you bring to the table
Aside from fitness expertise, group fitness trainers can bring something new, unique, and valuable to their group classes. Perhaps it is a positive, can-do attitude; a calm and inviting demeanor that helps to set the group at ease, a receptive personality, and/or a great method for demonstrating and explaining complex exercises. Focus on the things that make taking a group fitness class with you desirable. Your group members are likely to notice your individual value and stick around to see what more you have to offer.
Consider what you do best
The fitness industry is fascinating and constantly changing. New, popular group classes pop up all of the time, and it may seem that traditional step, kick-boxing, or strength training classes are less and less desirable to the public. Before launching into the new and trendy classes, set aside time to study the trends in order to decide whether those types of classes fit your unique brand.
Certainly, it is a great idea to keep your workout modern and effective by fusing new techniques with your own tried and true methods, but it may be a confidence booster to continue to teach what you know and do best until you become comfortable with what is new.
Fake it until you make it
No doubt, getting up in front of a class and assuming responsibility for the group that you are teaching can wear on one's nerve. Until sufficient group instructing experience is attained and confidence in talents and value are developed, it may be necessary to simply behave as though one is confident.
Smiling broadly and genuinely will brighten your day and allow clients to feel more comfortable participating in the fitness class. Speaking clearly and succinctly when explaining and encouraging clients in class will build a positive foundation between group members and the instructor
Establishing that foundation, in conjunction with continued education and practice are essential to developing confidence and appeal.