A majority of our clients come to us after having a negative experience with exercise. Many times this a direct result of the over sized classes at their school, where they do not receive the attention that they need and fall through the cracks. Some have tried to participate in a group game at recess time, only to have the game move to quickly for them to process and immediately feel lost. And others simply had a bad experience with another personal trainer that just didn't know how to motivate them. That was the case with our buddy "Jason".
During his session yesterday, "Jason" told one of our trainers stories that used fear as a motivator instead of love. One example was his trainer threatened to take a $1 out of his wallet each time that the walked on the side of the treadmill. Using (hopefully) empty threats and using fear as a motivator doesn't earn the respect of your clients. Sure, they may comply and you will see the behaviors that you want decreased be reduced. But in no way does it lead them to wanting to come back or to be active outside of their scheduled sessions.
Instead, motivate with love. We (Specialty Athletic Training team) believe that our clients should always leave wanting to come back. We strive to make exercise fun, use positive reinforcement during our instruction, aim to increase the self esteem and confidence, and make sure that they leave with a smile.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CFNS, is the head trainer and founder of Specialty Athletic Training. He is President of the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Ryan has worked with individuals with special needs since 2007 and has over 10,000 hours of 1:1 instruction working with individuals that have various special needs.