Training has become an essential part of our society and improving your skill is no longer an option but a requirement. So how do you go about improving your skills? The simple answer is to hire a trainer. The difficult part is, figuring out what a good trainer looks like. With so many people taking advantage of the opportunities training provides, you are left with the difficult task of selecting the right trainer. We are here to help you select the perfect trainer for you!
No matter what sport you are looking to get training for, when you are selecting a trainer, there are certain characteristics that will apply to all of them. All trainers have a similar goal, to help you improve. How they go about it and the motivation behind it is not all the same. So what characteristics should you be looking for? Well we will give you a few major characteristics to look for that should help you in your selection process.
Your trainer should know more than you! They should have an understanding of what it will take for you to reach your maximum potential and they should have a game plan to help you reach that potential. What kind of experience are you looking for? Well it starts with playing and coaching experience. Did this person play this sport, hopefully they have more than high school varsity experience but that is not a deal breaker if they don't. I just know, collegiate level athletes receive a lot of information that high school athletes don't because of the time commitment involved. High school coaches simply don't have time to teach as much as college coaches do! If your trainer is a coach in that sport, that is a plus. Again, hopefully they are at a high school varsity level or above. Simply because, the competitive nature of sports below those levels are not great and if you aren't seeing high level athletes daily, how do you know what one really looks like? How does that trainer know how you compare to other kids your age, or what you need to do to play at a high level if they haven't seen it? Most experienced trainers have players that they trained who are not playing varsity level sports or above. Some of these players should give you an idea of what kind of trainer you are working with.
When it comes to quality, we are referring to facility, equipment, instruction, drills etc. You should look to train in an appropriate setting. I wouldn't want to do basketball training on a turf floor. Nor would I want to do crossfit on equipment made with pvc piping. I want appropriate equipment for my appropriate training. Top of the line equipment does not mean excellent training. Appropriate equipment means you have the opportunity to get excellent training. Is my trainer providing me with their complete attention? Are they really focusing on what I am doing and giving me feedback constantly? If so, you are probably in a good situation. Your trainer should always be focused on the task at hand and that is YOU! Nothing more annoying than someone on the phone or texting while working with you. Does your trainer find new drills relative to your situation and constantly challenge you every time you come in? Or are they doing the exact same routine every single time?
Your body needs that change and your mind needs that challenge so the new drills and someone pushing you to your limits is very important. Your trainer should be supportive, but they must be honest. If you cannot take honest criticism, well, you don't really want to reach your potential, so why train? Trainers who give the fluff responses, please stay away from! You will get nowhere fast!
Profession vs. Professional
What you see is what you get! You see a hands on trainer that involves themselves and takes a personal interest in you, then you have a professional. If you see someone that sits on a bucket and gives the occassional, "Great job", "Good one" or "You almost got that one". Well, no need to explain what you have thats a profession. It is your choice to work with a trainer who views his services as a profession? Do you want a professional that is going to do everything they can to keep you interested in coming back. The bottom line is, are you learning and improving? When you can answer no to that question, that's when it's time for you to move on.
- The trainer that gives you a workout and disapears while you complete it.
- The trainer that looks as if they have never attempted to do the things that they ask you to do.
- Sits on a bucket and gives you the best bullpen work you have ever had by a guy on a bucket while offering little to no instruction.
- Main objective is to sell you a package so you can commit to coming back.
- Tells you everything you are doing is great and they can't understand why your coach doesn't play you.
- Has very little interest in you as a person, only interested in why you are seeing them.
- On time, or early to work with you, set up and prepared for a quality session.
- Takes a personal interest in you. This can help them understand your struggles.
- Knows how to relay what they are seeing so you understand it and can make the changes.
- Hires help so they can focus on your techniques and not trying to evaluate while participating.
- Will be honest and give you constructive feedback, good or bad.
- Encourages you to work on things at home so you don't start over every session. There goal is to not have you doing training with them all of the time. You should come in for tune-ups.
- Completely hands on while instructing and they look like they could do everything they are asking you to do right now!
- Takes the time to come to your competitions to see if you are incorporating what they are working with you on.
Most people get caught up in cost which is fair. What you have to put into perspective is, you are paying for someone's experience, quality of service and professionalism. While you can compare these things from trainer to trainer, cost should not be the big determining factor on who you pick. I am a firm believer, "you get what you pay for" and if the trainer that checks off the most boxes cost a little more, it should be worth it in the long run. Great trainers do not lower their cost just to attract more clients. New and bad trainers do that all of the time. Great trainers believe in what they do, and they have a proven track record of clients that have progressed and achieved great things. So if you chase the best deal, you will find yourself chasing your competition for ever. This is an investment, and you wouldn't invest in an education at a lesser school simply because it's cheaper. Money usually is the last factor and you try to do everything you can to make it work before choosing a different route. Why would you handle this situation any different?
Using these factors to help in your decision making process will really help you make the best selection possible. People over promise and under deliver daily, but clients get caught up in what they are told will happen. The only thing I can promise you is if you stick to these guidelines, you will put yourself in a winning situation. What you do with that situation is completely up to you!