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How to stand out as a sports and fitness instructor!

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re a sports or fitness instructor that is looking to stand out in a highly saturated area of specialisation. Truth is, the health and fitness industry has become highly populated with individuals offering their services to potential clients. So how do you stand out? What do you do to show the world that your services are exactly what prospective clients need to achieve high-performance?


Let us help you.


The tips in this post are based on a number of lessons that we’ve learned as coaches and athletes throughout our sporting and fitness careers, along with lessons from some of the world's best. So let’s get started.


Build strong personal and professional relationships. Did you know that studies show that individuals are more likely to perform and develop better at more efficient rates when they have strong relationships with their instructors/coaches? Being a specialist in any field is more than just telling people how to do something in order to be better, it requires a strong personal relationship. A relationship that encourages development on both sides (that of the athlete and the specialist), a relationship that is built on trust and honesty and a relationship that stimulates accountability. So take the time to understand and learn more about your clients. Learn what motivates them and encourages them, build a relationship of trust and empathy and understand how they learn and develop. For example, some people learn through visual guidance (watching videos and comparing their form to the videos, or by watching you demonstrate the action), while others prefer audio-driven instruction i.e. being told what they’re doing incorrectly and what could be better. When you understand your client's learning and development habits along with their personality types, you’ll help them achieve their goals more effectively while simultaneously improving your brand presence as a specialist instructor.

Develop a philosophy to live by Over time, you’ll learn multiple different ways and methods of teaching and instructing people through their journeys in sports or fitness. While many may work on some level, over time you’ll find a particular strategy and principle that has best worked for you and your clients. As you develop as a specialist, those principles form the foundation of your philosophy, the philosophy that will go on to help many people. Having a clear philosophy not only helps you make more educated decisions when considering which clients you take on because, believe it or not, not every athlete is best suited to your teaching style, but it also helps you perform to the best of your ability as a specialist with your clients.



Understand your clients' needs and wants to the last detail When you start your journey with a new client, take the time to do a discovery session with them. This is where you ask as many questions as possible. Get to know everything you can about your clients' histories with that particular discipline, their strengths and weaknesses and what their goals are and what timeline they wish to achieve that within. Once you’ve completed your assessment following the discovery session, create a plan. The plan should have micro-goals along the way. It’s a proven fact that long-term goals are more likely to be achieved when micro-goals are in place.

Capture and record their progress and key statistics. One of the biggest challenges for an athlete looking to improve their health and fitness is being able to truly see the change in performance, ability and physique. When an individual is passionate about their progress, they’ll often fall into the trap of, for example, looking in the mirror daily to see if any change has happened. The problem with this is that when they do this often, it becomes increasingly difficult to see any changes over prolonged periods of time because they are so small. As specialist instructors, one of the best ways you can help show your clients that the hard work is paying off and that their efforts are bringing out absolute results is to track performance which can be done in the following ways:

  • Before, progress and after pictures - These visible reference points help your clients obtain visible confirmation that their efforts aren’t in vain.

  • Track key performance markers - By recording key pieces of information such as strength metrics (e.g. weight range per set & rep,) performance statistics, heart rate metrics and more, you’re providing analytical feedback about a client's progress throughout their journey. These indicators are once again, validation of the effort being put in to achieve results.

  • Video analysis - If you’re a sports coach in a sport that is highly technical, the video recording of your clients' techniques can be used to compare against professionals or seasoned experts with the intention of highlighting areas that need adjustment and improvement with the intended end result being more consistent and better performance.

Build a personal brand The world as we know it today largely revolves around social media. So much so that a recent study showed that 81% of people base buying decisions on their friends’ (or people they follow) posts on social media. In addition to that, the recent rise in short-form video content (reels and Tiktok) has changed the algorithm of all social media channels in a way that drives those forms of content more than static images. Therefore, we’d like to encourage you as a specialist in your area to make a concerted effort in creating easily digestible, highly valuable and exceptionally informative content for your followers to consume and as a result, build trust and belief in you.

So with all that said, we believe that in order for you to develop the best personal brand for yourself, you need to be doing all of the above points to stand out and you need to be doing them well. So if you’re looking to be an industry leader, be mindful of the 5 tips we’ve mentioned and you’ll be on your way to success.

As a business, our aim is to help both athletes and specialists achieve their personal goals in sport and fitness. That is why we go above and beyond to not only help you with all of the above but also to offer you a platform to advertise your services to prospective clients in your area through our mobile app.


If you are based in South Africa and are interested in joining our team of health and fitness specialists, download Forte today.



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