Being successful as a fitness instructor takes skill and hard work. Not only do you need to be fit and talented in whatever sport you’re teaching, but you also need to be a people person and be genuinely passionate about what you do to really be successful.
It Takes More Than Passion
Oftentimes, the best coaches and instructors come home exhausted after a day encouraging others in their workouts. That’s because leading fitness classes and coaching athletes takes a lot of energy if you’re doing it right. So often athletes become coaches because they really love their sport, but it takes more than passion to be a good coach.
Don’t Just be a Cheerleader
You have to be more than a cheerleader. This means cueing your athletes and genuinely wanting to make them better. Whether you’re leading a spin class or a Crossfit class, you need to be prepared to watch your athletes and correct their form of movements. This means having good observational skills and knowing how to cue. It also means being constantly engaged.
You can’t be a good instructor if you’re standing in the corner looking at your cell phone. Your athletes need you to show up mentally even on days when you don’t feel like it. If one of your athletes has bad form on a lift, you need to know how to explain how they can correct it. You’ve got to be able to communicate, in multiple ways, what their body needs to do differently. In fact, communication is one of the most important skills you need to have as a coach.
Instructors are Marketers for Their Gyms
Communication is about more than cueing and verbally explaining techniques during classes though. It also involves marketing your gym, even when you’re not instructing. Say you teach a cycling class at a local shop. Bike shop marketing is really important to the success of the shop. Marketing your skills as a biking instructor and telling those you meet about the shop are going to be imperative to its success. As a coach, you are a part of the shop’s brand and you represent the shop even when you’re not there.
Be Talented in Your Sport
This is also why it’s important for coaches to be good at their sport. People are more likely to buy in to a brand if the brand ambassadors, or coaches, are good at what they’re representing. If you’re joining an Olympic weightlifting gym and the coaches for varying classes don’t look like they could outlift you, you might decide to choose a different gym.
Remember That Gyms are Community Driven
Simply put, athletes look for coaches that can teach them something, which is why coaches simply existing in the local community are one of the best marketing tools out there. This is especially true because the fitness industry is very centered around niche communities.
If you join an MMA gym, odds are you’re going to end up knowing or at least knowing about all the other gyms in the area and their athletes. Not only is this why it’s important for you as an instructor to be positive and inviting, but it’s why you want your gym to have that atmosphere too. Being welcoming to newbies means you’re more likely to gain members and increase sales.
Keep Up With Your Sport
Because new and seasoned athletes are always looking to learn something new, it’s important for coaches and instructors to keep learning their sport. This could mean taking additional training classes or participating in local competitions or meets. Hosting a competition can mean great marketing for your gym in the local community. Participating in large-scale competitions as a gym will bring your members closer together and keep them with your gym long-term.
Being a good coach and fitness instructor is about being a good communicator and being good at your sport. The passion and drive for your sport should give you the desire to want to make your athletes better.