It was one of the worst phone calls I have had in my life. I was at university and I received a text telling me to call Maureen Baker, the manager at my gym and the woman who could either make or break me in the fitness industry.
The night before I had taught my first ever class by myself and she had watched the first part. ‘Hi Maureen, its Bevan here’, ‘Ah Bevan, (pause) what did you think of your class last night?’ Her question and tone made it obvious that she didn’t think I was the next big thing. ‘I think it went ok’, I said, voice quivering. She then went on to give me feedback that made me realise I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to make it. One thing that really stood out was when she said ‘Bevan, they (the class participants) are not awesome in the warm up; you told them that they were nearly one hundred times.’ While her feedback was hard to take, she was right.
Since that time I have learnt a lot about how to motivate people. Over the years I’ve had to motivate all different types of people. I’ve had a group of young mums who hadn’t done exercise in years and were so afraid of the workout in front of them. Then I’ve had athletes who were used to working under high levels of stress.
While the groups and individuals I’ve worked with have been varied, I have learnt one massive lesson on motivation. My job is to motivate at the right time. I’ll give you an example: many new instructors motivate all the time, they push people from the start of the workout right through to the end. People don’t need this, most of us will work really well up to the point when it gets hard. The difference between a new and an experienced instructor is that the experienced instructor is watching the person or group training and waiting for the moment when they can see they are struggling. It’s at this moment that they provide motivation using one of the many tools they have.
When you think about it, most people don’t need motivation 100% of the time. They just need motivation at the right time. So what can you take from this? When you are exercising, if you can become good at recognising the point when you need motivation, you can prepare an action strategy to take you to the next level. Whether it is a playlist that you switch to that has music that pushes you along, whether it is a mindset you create to help you get through the hard part or motivation from others, work out a plan for yourself to get you through the challenge.
Luckily Maureen’s advice has stuck with me and this advice taught me a great deal about motivation and has opened many doors for me in my career within the fitness industry.
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