Here at Les Mills Asia Pacific, we are dedicated to helping our Instructors achieve greatness. In the interests of providing top quality, efficient support and advice for you, we have created a regular segment in our Connect newsletter. We discuss relevant topics that provide Instructors with valuable information. This month we explore “Endorsement and Mentoring”
If you’re just starting your Les Mills journey as a Trainee, or have recently taken on the privileges of a Mentor, read on. In order to attend an Initial Module Training, all trainee’s need to receive successful endorsement from the GFM (Group Fitness Manager) of the club they plan to teach at. This endorsing club also needs to be licensed in the program you plan to teach. You don't have to be a member or employee to gain endorsement, and if you have trouble finding a facility to partner with, contact us. You will need to approach the Group Fitness Manager, explain your intentions, and see if they would be happy to provide a mentor and a place for you to practice post training.
Endorsement is non committal by both parties. This means that the club is not guaranteeing trainees a job post training and the instructor is not obligated to work at that club if they do not wish to. Accepting an endorsement request indicates that the endorsing club has the resources, suitably qualified staff and time to accommodate the development of a new trainee as they work towards certification.
Tips if you have been allocated a new trainee to mentor
Be 100% honest with yourself when deciding to accept this responsibility. It’s a very rewarding opportunity. In fairness to all, make sure you have the time to commit helping trainees. Create a plan that will comfortably accommodate the 12-16 weeks of mentoring required to get the new trainee to the point of being ready to take the leap toward Certification:
Firstly, get to know the trainee holistically, as a whole person. The way everyone learns, personalities and the happenings of day to day life will be very different for each person. The better you get to know the person, the more effective you can be in creating a plan of action that suits the mentor/trainee relationship. Also, get to know your trainee’s initial concerns or fears. When you have this information you can tread gently with empathy making the transition from participant to instructor a lot less daunting.
- Once the trainee has passed the Initial Module Training, begin with shadow teaching (2-4 weeks shadow teaching)
Build stage confidence first. Being on stage can be very daunting for a new instructor, so take it gently.
- Team Teach (4-8 weeks)
Once the trainee is comfortable with being on stage and having people look at them, start to give them the opportunity to take a track or two (team teach) to build the next level of confidence when ‘speaking and moving’ at the same time. When the “butterflies are out of formation” it can take everything to hold it together. Be empathetic here.
- supervised solo teaching in preparation of certification (4 weeks)
Always offer constructive feedback post class. What are the 1-2 things that the new trainee can work on that will make a positive difference the next time they step on stage with you? Praise their development, no matter how small the shift. What may seem a small shift to you may feel like a mountain to the trainee. Don’t be pressured to move the trainee on until each step is understood and role modelled well.
Touch base along the way
Always take the time to gain an understanding of how the trainee is feeling about the process along the way. If there are challenges in their day to day life, be empathetic to this and adjust the plan as needed. You want the trainee to enjoy this time, to build passion for the program and a will to be the best.
The process may take more or less time than the general guideline of 12-16 weeks. Development is different for everyone, so avoid pressure on either side of the scale. Make sure both parties are ready before bringing out the camera or booking into an AIM1 and you will have your trainee feeling confident and itching to rock the stage solo in no time!
For further guidance on the above or information on the Certification options available, please contact the Les Mills Asia Pacific Instructor Specialist Team 02 6282 8192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org They’re here to help you!
If you have a burning question that you need answered, no matter how big or small, let us know and it could feature in the next hot topic segment, so keep an eye out!