Warning: This post might offend some of you, but it may also inspire educational efforts, so the time and money put into education translates into more clients and increased revenue for ones buisness.
“I believe a college education is quite overrated, that’s the reason I don’t put letters
after my name. I don’t belive it means anything.”
This is a direct quote from one of the - in my opinion - world’s best strength coaches, who, BTW, has a an undergraduate degree in Science as well as a graduate degree in Exercise Physiology.
Why do you want to be certified?
In the last couple of months I have - first or second hand - heard about trainers, who contact a
certifying body after they have failed a written exam by one or two points and ask the certifying body if their near missed is good enough for a pass.
Judging fellow beings is always a doubtsome act, however, begging for a pass indicates to me that that individual just wants the “piece of paper”; they just want to put the letters after their name. I am aware that in certain cases the letter after your name decides whether you have a job or not, and thus I can empathize with a trainer who, in risk of losing his/her job, tries their luck with the certifying body.
Don’t get me wrong, certifications are great if they lead to knowledge applied to succesfully help clients, but if certifications are just letters after your name, it’s misleading to those our buisness is all about - the clients.
It’s my honest opinion, that if you are taking certifications to keep your job or to add credibility by putting letters behind your name, you are behind the game.
I understand why employers tend to look at certifications when they judge a trainer; it’s easier and there are also insurance aspects involved. However, to move this industry forward we must focus on one question: Which tools do I have to help the client in front of me? And likewise, those of you who own a training facility must ask: What is this trainer able to do with the with the clients in front of them?
Besides basic all round knowledge in the form of a CPT, CSCS, BSC, MSC, etc. our continuing education, at any point in time, should focus on our “weak links” as trainers/coaches?
What are the questions you can’t answer when you create training programs?
What are the tools you are missing when you create training programs?
Those are the questions that should guide your continuing education - not the desire to put letters behind your name.
The quote in the beginning of this post is from Charles Poliquin and can be found in his book the Poliquing Principles (1997 edition).
To your success,