101 Trainer Mistakes
With a new class beginning at The Show Up Academy this week, I always begin with this masterpiece by Jon Goodman and Personal Trainer Development Center. This is a great article for NEW and VETERAN TRAINERS TO READ (please read and comment on your favorites and/or things you'd add or take out!) I may not agree with all, but that's the awesome thing about learning and growing as a trainer.
Here are my favorite:
#16 - Great book for every trainer to read. How to Win and Influence People. If you're a trainer and haven't read this... TISK TISK TISK.
#19 - SALES IS FUN, GET OVER IT.
#20 (SMILE! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY ASSHOLE TRAINERS I'VE SEEN AT EQUINOXES, CRUNCH & 24-HOUR'S THESE PAST 2-YEARS. IT'S INSANE.)
#24- Testimonials. I read in a book that the problem with the unemployed is they don't treat their time as if they're employed. You need to be training the hours you want to work. That means as a new trainer, offer up your time to everyone: bar tenders, baristas, bookstore clerks, actors, friends, EVERYONE! Your time isn't free. Each person you train needs to commit to 3x a week, post pictures, write a YELP/GOOGLE/WEBSITE review, and at the end of 8-weeks, send you at least one referral. If not, they'll be fired, or have to pay.
#39- IMO, A lack of confidence comes from the lack of education and shitty entry standards into the fitness industry. I'd say 99.9% of trainers who graduate from the Academy have more confidence than the average trainer.
#73- It's free advertisement. Get with the program.
#87 - SHUT UP; ask your clients questions, no one cares about your drama.
#8 Smoking during breaks. You're a trainer and you smoke (cigs; not happy smoke)? I don't see it. I'm bias because I've never smoked (guilty of drinking like an Irishman), but I've never understood the whole smoking and being a trainer thing.
#23 I don't necessary disagree with, more so would modify to, "it takes between 6-10 contacts to close a sale." Stop being transactional by trying to sell so fast. Add value first, present the options for their success, and then follow up, be consistent, offer free sessions to get them back in, send articles, happy birthday notes, and truly show that your trying to help. Eventually, a good amount will come around.
#26 Not giving homework. Who can honestly raise their hand and say they loved homework in High School or College? As a nation who's morbidly obese, the last thing we need is homework, we need challenges. When I challenge a client or student to read a book, drop bread / rice / grains for a month, or take up yoga, they take it upon themselves to subscribe when the time is right. People are naturally competitive, they want to SHOW UP to the challenge. At the end of it all, they're the ones who did it, not someone telling them what to do. To empower people is something great coaches can do.
#65 Coffee on the floor. I agree if you're holding your cup of joe with two hands, slowly sipping it, while mundanely counting out reps for your client- ya that's bullshit. Keep your coffee within eyesight, or behind the water cooler and during a rest period take a sip and then get back to coaching. It seems to be accepted that energy drinks, protein shakes or pre-workouts are OK, so why not coffee? It's all in context.
Mistakes that I see trainers make that I would add:
- Get trained by other trainers (similar to #78). If you don't invest in a trainer, how can you expect to see the value in your own services? It's like a dentist who doesn't get bi-annual cleans, WTF?
- SHOW UP EVERY DAY READY TO CHANGE LIVES.
- Investing in your clients. I think all trainers should invest 10% of what they earn back into each client. Buy them gifts, take them to lunch, happy hours, and / or events.
- Leaving your client unattended / THE FINAL DESTINATION GAME. Passive negligence is a thing. I always go through worse case scenarios. What if a client were to trip over a dumbbell, fall into the corner of a plyobox and roll into the mirror hitting their carotid artery?
-I would combine a bunch of them into= Deliberate Practice, which includes: reading at least an hour a day (nutrition, bio-mechanics, kinesiology, psychosocial development and business), going to workshops quarterly, getting trained by top fit pros, keeping up with trends by reading magazines monthly, and interning at specific interest groups e.g. physical therapy, diabetic or cancer clinics, high school strength coach, or RD's.
- Working at a gym and understanding the corporate world. I have heard so many bitter trainers leave quality gyms like Equinox because "they're taking too much from my sessions." It may seem unfair to get paid $22-30 per session when the gym is charging $110, but my question to you is, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? You're replaceable. You have a state of the arc facility to practice and hone your craft. I challenge every trainer to get 5- clients in a week WITHOUT using any sort of brand representation. You're not a trainer for Equinox, or Show Up Fitness, you are you. The brand is why people show up (hence #9.) I'm sorry, but you wouldn't have a clientele if it wasn't for the brand on the back of your shirt. BE GRATEFUL and you're time will come. Instead of getting bitter, learn from your experience and become better.
Overall, I love The PTDC to supplement content for The Show Up Academy and thank everyone who's ever contributed. You're the ones who trainers need to emulate. Keep on being awesome :-)