How to accelerate your learning while taking a certification
Sometimes certifications feel like the solve for every problem in your coaching career.
"I'll have more education under my belt."
"I'll be worth more to the market"
"I'll be able to give more to my clients."
Chances are if you're taking a certification, you are in a place where you want it to help you get more clients. Or people you can simply apply this knowledge to.
Whatever your motivation is to acquire more knowledge, there's a lot of great education out there to level up your game. Just make sure that you're not falling into this loop.
Step 1: Understand the macro principles of what they're trying to teach you.
Just like diets and fitness programs, certifications have a unique structure for a special purpose. There are themes and patterns about great coaching practices that you will notice along the way.
This is why it's helpful to diversify your attention in terms of knowledge acquisition. Commit to and trust a given system so you can really absorb their POV. But always be open to learning from other sources to make the most informed decision for yourself. This applies to what I'm saying too.
Step 2: Implement it right away.
I "made it" in the fitness industry because of my experience in the trenches. 10 years ago, I was planning how to work with an actual person so I could start to learn how this stuff worked in real life.
I can tell you that you'll have moments where you go, "I'm not ready. I don't know what I'm doing!" (Here's a free mini course for those moments.)
This is normal. You still want to start working with people that are close to you and around you. Be honest with them and say, "Hey I'm learning some new things to upgrade my coaching, and I wanted to see if you'd be open to being a guinea pig."
Remember that you are always comparing yourself to other peers in your profession. It's very easy to feel like you're missing something. Or that you don't belong there.
But if you are focused on the client at hand and not yourself, you will probably agree that you know enough to keep them moving towards their goals in a safe way.
The branded certification or the mentor who believes in you affirms some of what you intuitively know as a coach.
People don't pay you to know everything. They pay you to figure it out.
Speed of implementation is the way to accelerate your learning.
Step 3: Reflect and process.
No matter what label you put on me "Spin Instructor", "Personalized Coach", "Weightlifting Coach". I learned from the greatest and applied it in a way that made sense to me.
They key to self-learning is that you need to be disciplined enough to pause and honestly assess yourself.
What's working well? And what isn't?
This type of analysis will help you focus on the right things. The module you just went through...is there something you can do to actively process it?
Think to yourself, where will I actually use this? How does it improve my understanding? How can I talk about this with myself or someone else?
Not only will this help you retain a lot of information longer term. But it will serve to be more meaningful because you've found ways to translate and incorporate it into your coaching.
Knowledge is still power, but differently.
The archaic way of thinking was that getting a Bachelor's degree (or fill in the blank certification) was going to help secure the American dream. This is not true in 2020.
You are paying the institution money in exchange for knowledge and to get those letters next to your name. Everyone wins. But remember, YOU are paying for the letters.
That's not what your clients are paying for. So don't rely on just that to sell yourself. Instead, show them what you can do with those letters.
Enjoy the video!!!
P.S. If you're a coach looking to level up your game, here is a free mini course I made to help you when you're starting out.