Why You Need to Know Your Limits When Taking on Clients
I take my time reading articles and staying abreast with issues in the fitness industry. It’s important to me because I’ve worked in this industry for quite some time. I think the onus is on the professionals to really help shape this industry and create something special for our audience. I also believe it becomes more challenging for the client when their trainer isn’t qualified or prepared to work with them.
How many professionals can honestly admit when they aren’t prepared to work with certain clients
Let’s face it. We all have our barriers and our grey areas where it’s difficult for us because we don’t have a strong grasp of the situation. Let me give you an example. A few years ago I was asked to work with a client who was pregnant. I wasn’t comfortable working with a client who was pregnant so I suggested she work with a friend who knew more about the subject than I did. It’s important to know your limits and stand by them.
Every client isn’t your ideal client
If you haven’t thought about your ideal client already then I urge you to consider who they are and what issues those clients are facing. You also need to think about what you can offer to help satisfy their needs. It may sound odd, but it would be better if you didn’t train certain clients, because you just aren’t qualified or prepared to effectively help them.
It’s important to know where you stand and what you’re prepared to work with if you want to continue being successful. If you’ve been taking on any and every client regardless of the situation, you may need to rethink this. You have to admit your limits and stick to what you do best. Naturally, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take up a new opportunity, but I’m urging you to think about the client and your level of preparedness when dealing with certain issues.
Let me reiterate my point
If I’m not a dietitian, I shouldn’t be writing nutritional plans for people because it’s not an area I am well versed in. This goes for other special populations. Think about it. If you’re not qualified and prepared to work with certain populations then you really should be careful engaging them because you could do more harm than good.
I see trainers who will take on any and every client and I often wonder if the professional is really prepared to handle the subtleties that may arise with that client. You can’t train older adults the way you train children. The same goes for someone who’s had surgery versus someone who is 6 months pregnant but still wants to exercise.
Here’s the takeaway point
It’s ok to refer clients to other professionals who are more qualified and prepared in an area than you are. You’re saving yourself the embarrassment and saving the client from any potential risk. However, if you’re frequently seeing a pattern or you feel it’s time to become involved with other groups, then it may be time to seek new education in that area. There are opportunities all over, but you need to be prepared to handle them before diving in.
Have you ever heard of Educational Fitness Solutions? They provide online education in the area like nutrition and fitness programming. They also have an excellent Online Personal Fitness Training program offered in partnership with colleges all over the country.
Even if you’re currently a certified professional, the program offers more depth than a typical certification. It would be in your best interest to look into this opportunity because you’ll be more qualified and prepared to work with your current clients.
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