Becoming a Fitness Expert
There is an increasing number of so called fitness ‘experts’, so how can you tell if someone really is one, and how can you become one yourself? Kevin Troeger, Senior Coach, Australian Institute of Fitness NSW, explains.
The English Oxford Dictionary defines an expert as being ‘a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area, and as having or involving a great deal of knowledge or skill in a particular area’. This goes far beyond the concepts of competence and confidence and actually involves the stage of unconscious competence.
What is an ‘expert’?
It is safe to say that becoming an expert involves commitment, perseverance, dedication and time with a constant process of evolving knowledge and skills. The Chinese use the term Kung Fu, or hard work, as a way to attain mastery of a skill and believe it takes doing something up to 10,000 times to attain this level. This applies to all aspects of our lives and career, no matter what we choose to become an expert in, from fitness to mechanics or landscape gardening to information technology.
How can you become an expert?
Becoming an expert is a continuing process of personal development and evolution, with the first step finding something specific you are passionate about and having a desire to learn deeply about it. This is most important as becoming an expert will take a great deal of time, commitment, research and practical experience. This step in itself could take some time to get through and if you’re not 100% dedicated will be virtually impossible to get through.
The fitness industry is very broad, ranging from personal/group training to research and management. You should find a specific point of interest such as posture, strength and conditioning or rehabilitation, and focus on continual education and development in that area. This will enable you to gain the correct qualifications and have the progression and development of knowledge needed over time to confidently call yourself an expert.
Being involved and ‘walking the walk while talking the talk’ definitely helps cement your credibility. It is very difficult to call yourself an expert if you are not currently actively involved in the area you are claiming to be an expert in.
Teaching and mentoring in your chosen area are extremely helpful as they allow you to further develop your understanding of the subject by answering questions, diving deeper into concepts and helping someone else understand.
All that said, all one really needs to become an expert is a desire to be the best they can be at whatever it is they choose. Find something you are interested in, educate yourself and involve yourself in continual development of your knowledge and skills and importantly, enjoy what you do. This is the recipe for success so go get out there and best wishes in your efforts to become a fitness expert!