Why Fitness Coaches Should Commit to Continued Development

Doctors, lawyers, and financial planners have continuing education requirements.

So do physical therapists and registered dietitians.

Although the fitness coach space isn’t regulated by any governing body, doesn’t it make sense why other professions are? They’re dealing with your health and wealth, so its in the best interest of the general public that these industries have some basic tenets that keep them playing in roughly the same sandbox as the guys and gals next door.

Wait a minute, don’t fitness deal with people’s health and wellness?

No, this is not an argument for, or against, fitness coach regulation. I’m simply drawing a parallel. Plus, that’s a different blog for a different day!

When I speak to gym owners, a common thread I hear is that they wish their coaches would be more invested in continuing education. I get it, I’m a gym owner (and twenty year coaching veteran), and I want my coaches to want the same thing.

I also remember being a new, young coach. And to be blunt – I wanted to see the clear connection between the knowledge I was pursuing and the money that was making its way into my pocket. I wanted to see the return on my investment. Perhaps that’s part of it – understanding the different forms of ROI that continuing education takes.

With that said, here are 5 reasons I think fitness coaches should care about their continuing education:

  1. It demonstrates your commitment to being a professional. Like I said above, those in other fields (what our moms and dads may refer to as those with ‘real jobs’) are required to keep up with new ways of doing things. Shouldn’t we?
  2. You are leading by example. Don’t you expect your clients to always strive for progress, no matter how small or challenging? This is no different. Be the example, not the exception.
  3. Your value increases. I briefly mentioned this above, but ROI is a real concern – I get it. Your return on investment in continuing education *might* mean you command a higher wage. It could also mean bigger opportunities are offered to you (corporate wellness contracts for instance) instead of a less qualified coach. It might simply mean that your clients stick around longer because you can connect with them on new, deeper levels based upon new knowledge you’ve gained.
  4. It affords you the opportunity, and subsequent honor, of giving back and contributing to the next generation of fitness coaches. When you pursue continuing ed, teach it to an upcoming coach. They’ll ask great questions like all curious coaches do. This will help you simplify your understanding of bigger concepts and impart wisdom on them.
  5. The one constant we can all count on? Change. The coaches who last are the ones who can adapt. The best way to be sure you can adapt to more situations than the next guy? Keep learning.

Or, as Joe Dirt says: “Keep on keepin’ on.”

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