Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Does the Learning Process REALLY Takes Place?

I want to tell you about something I have noticed going on lately in the fitness world. Across social websites like Facebook and Twitter, and even in mailing lists from numerous fitness professionals; there seems to be a trend gaining in popularity. That trend is boasting about the many fitness seminars, masterminds and workshops we attend. Many professionals assume that their attendance at these major events automatically qualify them as more "advanced" than the next trainer--simply because they paid for and attended...having shown proof...that they were part of a dynamic learning process.

Don't get me wrong...I am 100% for continuing the learning process. And I am ecstatic to hear that many fitness professionals are investing in their own growth and exercise design by attending these seminars. The truth is in the pudding whereas some of these 3-day events are growing in record numbers year after year. Personally, I began attending these workshops back in 2001 and have attended 3 already this year. But one thing you will realize is that I am not brazen about my attendance at these workshops. Sure, a mention here...a mention there...but the current trend is to snap a shot of yourself showing PROOF of your presence in a attempt to ascertain some sort of notoriety is beyond me.

We live in an age where we like to show proof that we were somewhere when something of relevance takes place. It's part of technology and society--how each runs parallel to each other towards something called NOW or the PRESENT. We are becoming a TMZ society and it has spilled into the fitness industry's learning center. We snap photos with celebrity trainers and coaches--hoping that it will add credibility to our exercise program ideologies. We purchase the many books and DVDs and alert everyone to our new learning attainments on Facebook and Twitter, in hopes it will boast our thirst for knowing more.

But I want to share a personal revelation with learning doesn't take place at the seminar or after I watch the DVD--it takes place later with the client. Most of us think we are learning at these large seminars with many top-notch speakers--but what we are really experiencing is a dissemination of information. Many of the speakers simply reveal ow THEY do things with their clients or athletes. The attendees [me and you], automatically assume it must be the most effective and appropriate means of doing things simply because we are not up on the stage. That is not a learning process.  That is simply receiving instructionns from a loud speaker.
Many of us attending these seminars and workshops are simply STEALING ideas for the interim. It is not before we apply those ideas to our very own clients--do we actually LEARN anything. I admit, years ago I was a thief. I've attended many of the top semiars only to come away with "stealing" ideas from some of the top coaches. I would apply their concepts, rules, and ideas to my clients--simply becuase "the top coaches are doing it, so it must be fail-proof".

Boy...was I mistaken.

I began finding out that many of the cool exercises and drills that I "stole" from the prior weekend seminar didn't apply to my clients.  I was adjusting, modifying, and digressing many of the drills to accommodate my clients. I was observing my clients' reactions to the new movements and trouble-shooting ways to affix them properly into the exercise program. I was interacting with my clients--giving them an opportunity to communicate with me on a different level. I was LEARNING....not from a seminar or DVD--but in a real-life setting with my CLIENTS!

The learning process is a reciprocal process that involves action and experience. Anything before that is a recital. Attending fitness seminars, mastermind groups, summits, or purchasing DVDs is a great way to INITIATE the learning process--however, it doesn't guarantee that the process ever plays out. It begins the process, however,  only once the new information is acted upon or tested then it is ingrained and understood by the mind.
Trust me,  this is not a rant against seminars or buying DVDs for learning--I am guilty of marketing my own DVD catalog so I wouldn't want you to stop buying them. However,  I want you to understand that attending seminars is great for listening to the new information and learning what "others are doing" with their clients or business. But the real learning begins with your client during your session or consultation. We learn the most when we are engaged in what we aspire to do. We learn more about our athletes or clients when we build a rapport and structure an experience during our sessions.

1 comment:

  1. "it takes place later with the client"

    Bingo! There seems to be a huge emphasis on going to seminars and gaining a long list of certifications.

    More and more knowledge is not necessarily a good thing. Take a small amount of knowledge, apply it, test it(on yourself and different clients, tweak it, make your own version of it - build on that.

    This is how to master your trade.


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