Meet a Sports Coach and Fitness Instructor
We caught up with Jessica Ferriday who has worked in the fitness industry for over ten years. In the past, she has worked as a gym floor instructor, group fitness instructor, aqua instructor, triathlon coach and personal trainer. She currently works as a mentor to other Personal Trainers and also maintains a small clientele.
1. What courses did you study to become a Sports Instructor? And tell us a bit about your current role?
I began my Certificate III in Fitness as a school-based Trainee in 2006, specialising in gym instruction, group exercise, and aqua aerobics. I then furthered my study with a Certificate IV in Fitness in 2011 specialising as a Personal Trainer and Children’s Trainer. By 2015 I added a Certificate IV in Business Management to my qualifications.
Having been in the industry for ten years, my roles have developed from being a gym instructor, group fitness instructor, and Personal Trainer, to more of a leadership role of mentoring other Personal Trainers in client engagement and productivity, while still maintaining a small base of Personal Training clients.
2. What does a Sports Instructor do on a day-to day basis?
As a Personal Trainer, your primary role is to engage clients in their well-being, and to educate, inspire, and motivate them to make progress towards achieving it. This requires knowledge of not only movement, but wellness as a whole, and also a large dose of creativity and care to ensure the engagement is there.
As they say, the most well-written programme in the world is completely useless if a client doesn’t do it. A typical day would see a Trainer needing to be all of these things from as early as 5 am in the morning, until 9 p.m. The days can be long, however, there are usually plenty of opportunities for breaks during the middle of the day.
3. What do you think are the skills a freelance Sports Instructor should have?
The main skills I believe a freelance Sports Instructor needs is:
- Creativity – As a freelance Instructor you won’t have access to the amount of equipment or resources that would be afforded to you if you worked in a big box gym. Being creative with a few tools and a small space can save you money and make you more versatile as a Trainer.
- Sales skills – I hate the word ‘sales’, but if you have a great product that nobody knows about, it won’t be successful, and neither will you.
- Business skills – Data tells the truth more accurately than your perception does. Tracking income vs. expenditure, and sessions v.s cancellations are invaluable pieces of information that can save you from trouble.
4. What are the three things you absolutely love about your job?
- I love that I get to help people engage in their well-being, which positively effects every area of their lives.
- I love that I get to teach, inspire and lead people into better habits of health and wellness.
- I love the flexibility of the job, that it isn’t a 9-5 situation.
5. What advice would you give students aspiring to work in the freelance Sports instructing and coaching industry?
Be passionate, plan, and execute, but don’t hold too tightly to your ideas. Often when we become too attached to our own ideas, we can miss opportunities to grow and develop our products and services. Instead, hold tightly to a vision instead of an outcome. Know your ‘why’ behind what you are starting, and you will have the strength to persevere through tough times.
6. What is next on your career horizon?
Next in my career line is to grow my personal brand to a point whereby I can engage and help more people in their discovery of well-being for themselves. I’m currently writing a blog and being invited to do more public speaking at events. I am also developing my leadership skills and will eventually look to have a larger team working with me that I’ll coach in being able to engage more people in their health.
Thanks Jessica, for sharing your story with training.com.au