Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The ongoing challenge of educating

One of the primary functions of a training Coach is as educator.

We educate our customers, our athletes, our families and friends - in fact, we spend most of our day educating, in one way or another.

Education is an essential part of of our jobs, and empowering those who seek out our expertise is vital to their success. Whether they want to achieve improved Range of Motion, through a once injured shoulder, or finish an Ironman in under 10 hours, knowledge and information is a key ingredient in the recipe for their success.

As a Coach (read: Educator), your first step will be to carefully select at what level you should disseminate information to your audience. Do you need to dumb the information down or are they able to swallow and digest the full meal deal?

It is easy to forget that not everyone wants, or needs, the official Exercise Physiology 401 version, more often than not, the simpler the information, and message, the better.

The next step will be to craft a message that, when delivered, will be relevant and have an impact on our audience.

An example might be when working with a customer who is a golfer with poor Thoracic spine mobility, you might choose to explain how the Thoracic spine impacts their swing mechanics, and how the exercise selection will translate into an improved swing and ultimately golf game.

This might be obvious to us, but remember, many of our customers and athletes have limited knowledge and understanding as to how their bodies function.

By enhancing their knowledge and understanding, you will be providing them with:
  • a great foundation to help them realize their goals
  • increased confidence in you as their training Coach,
  • a superior level of body awareness.
A final ingredient missing from this post is ensuring consistency of information and delivery.

What I mean by this is that the information being delivered to your Customer, and the way it is delivered, should be along the same lines every time. It should reinforce the approach you are taking with them regarding their training, programming and long term development.

Ensuring a consistent approach will alleviate confusion, misunderstanding and ultimately frustration.

Strive to challenge yourself in every hour of your work day to educate your customers - the benefit to both you and your customer will be enormous.

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