This article is brought to you by Physical Coaching Academy
« Adaptability », « astonishment », « destabilization », and « cabin fever »: it’s on these 4 terms used by our speakers to describe the last months that started the last live session of Progress 2021. Months full of changes involving new adaptations from the health and fitness industry. Krista Scott-Dixon, Jennifer Halsall, Wendy Batts and Hugo Braam discussed them during an enriching Q&A session facilitated by Fabrice Williquet.
Manage Behaviour Change Caused by the Crisis
The Covid crisis led to huge changes in many aspects of people’s lives. For some people, disorders such as stress eating, drinking, or anxiety appeared. For others, the opposite occurred. However, in all cases, people developed new habits. Some people even became afraid of being close to others. In the UK, statistics showed some population groups to be more reluctant to go back to the clubs, such as women and people above 45 years old. To adapt as coaches, you have to be creative, to go virtual, to offer hybrid sessions allowing clients to participate from home if they prefer.
Accompany the Reactivation Phase
When people will be back in the clubs after a long period of inactivity, they’re going to face a lot of confrontations. Your role is thus to make their experience as easy and painless as possible. Explain all new things with simple words and find out what clients enjoy the most. The watchword is: “Avoid frictions”! As experienced fitness professionals, things may be so evident to you that you may overlook where the frictions lie. The advice is therefore to test your model with normal users to point out and eliminate those frictions.
Give Clients Autonomy
Most people don’t like to be told what to do, even if they claim it’s the case. Concerning your clients, you first have to evaluate the level of autonomy versus the level of structure they expect from you as a personal trainer. Ask clients what they prefer and what is really important for them to work on. Make your own assessment of what would be ideal for your client. Then, choose what you pick from the menu. It’s a sort of collaborative negotiation between you and your client. Anyway, make the client feel (s)he has a certain autonomy.
Include Technology in your Business
People who are working in the health and fitness industry are in most of the cases people-people, as it’s probably your case. You may then be afraid to integrate technology, but bringing technology to your business will allow you to provide greater personalization to your clients. Clients need their PT to be committed to going to the gym and to sticking to their goal, and technology can also contribute to this. This can be as simple as an SMS or as advanced as an app. Nowadays, people don’t leave home without their phone anymore. By going digital, you can keep in touch with them no matter where they are and what they do. So don’t be afraid by technology anymore, the health and fitness world is changing, and it's time to take the plunge!
Make Clients Belong to a Community
We, as people, are social animals: we enjoy activity more when we practice it with other people. Boutique concepts have already understood how to connect people with each other’s, physically and digitally. As personal trainers, you should try to implement this sense of community within your own client base.
Final Key Tips
Here are some additional tips from our speakers to which you should absolutely pay attention.
1. Set great goals for yourself as you do for your clients.
2. You’re not going to be excellent at the early phase of your career and it’s okay.
3. Do the basics right, it’s complicated enough.
4. Be consistent in whatever you choose to do.
5. It’s okay to be different: be who you are and do what you believe in.
We hope this article will help you progress! Thank you to our amazing speakers for having shared their advice with us during the live Q&A. We hope you enjoyed Progress 2021. See you next year for Progress 2022, and … Never stop progress!