If you think back to when you were at school, no doubt you had a favourite teacher who inspired you and made an impression on your life?
But what made that person special to you? Did they have a friendly manner? A unique way of making something difficult seem easy? Or did they inject some fun into boring algebra classes?
Now try to harness these characteristics if you are looking to become a gym instructor.
Everyone has the ability to learn and you can teach an old dog new tricks! But your responsibility as a gym instructor is to help facilitate this learning and make sure the people who come to your class are getting the most out of it, not wasting their time.
Many fitness instructors become professionals without studying how to teach. Perhaps they excel in a sporty discipline and begin to teach because they’re thrown into a situation that requires them to.
Through trial and error, many may find that they also excel as a gym instructor, but many would probably like – and need – a little guidance.
Know your target audience
The more you know about your students, the more effective you can be as an instructor. Ask yourself who your clients are, why they come to your class and what they want to get out of it.
Create a welcoming environment
When people feel safe and welcoming in a learning environment, they will be eager and ready to learn. Like any relationship, trust is essential and must be built from the beginning.
It may seem obvious, but be respectful to your audience and the wealth of experience and diversity they bring to your class. Remember to also give praise, something that learners find encouraging and reassuring – but there’s no need to be overly gushing; sincerity is key.
Adults need motivation to learn but they must feel inspired also. As a fitness instructor you already have a captive audience who have willingly come to you, so your challenge is to keep them interested and motivated.
Hold their attention with humour, a variety of activities, and give them a reason to learn.
Finally, remember that you are experienced with a wealth of knowledge – that is why you are teaching the class. Share all that you’ve learnt and acquired over the years and remember to be passionate about it!