The top 4 traits of a highly effective group fitness instructor
Being an excellent, highly respected group fitness instructor isn't easy. But it's achievable if you put the work in. We've listed 4 traits we think are vital to being a professional group fitness instructor.
Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses will help you develop into a powerful and effective fitness leader. Knowing and utilizing your strengths helps you to create and promote sound fitness programs. Recognizing and problem solving your weaknesses is equally important to your success. Once you've identified your weaknesses, you can begin to work on building the skills you lack and you can out source to someone who has the skills you lack. Knowing and working with your weaknesses will help you come across more professional and more trustworthy. We can all tell when someone is faking and not genuine. Don't think of weaknesses as a liability, think of them as an opportunity to improve and learn.
No we don’t mean you need to do the splits! But you do need to be capable of adapting on the spot. As group fitness instructors, we encounter many different situations before, throughout and after our classes. We need to be capable of handling major and minor disruptions. We need to be able to change the trajectory of our class if need be. Maybe the routine you practiced at home isn't working with a group of 20 or 30 people. Perhaps your phone is dead and you have to borrow someone's music selection and make it work with your routine. There are countless scenarios of participants arguing and claiming "spots". And of course the big one, a participant injuries themselves. We need to be flexible in our abilities to handle all these scenarios (and many more!).
This one gets talked about a lot. But making sure that you are constantly reevaluating your communication skills is vital to being a good leader. This isn’t just about cueing during your class. It’s about expressing empathy and even more importantly, listening when a participant approaches you. Participants and potential participants attend your class to get in better shape but they stay because they had a positive experience. That positive experience is created by you! Building relationships with your participants is vital to building a loyal following.
As a leader, people look to you as a role model. That is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. This means showing up physically and mentally. It means being on time, making time for them, show compassion and treating everyone with respect. It also means you need to be very careful with how you conduct yourself in front of your participants. They will want to know what and how often you eat and exercise. It's important to share healthy and professional information.
What other traits do you think are vital to being a professional group fitness instructor? Let us know in the comments.