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How to Evolve Your Leadership Skills

Good leaders are not born. People become good leaders by drawing on and learning from their myriad of life experiences, by taking counsel from the experience of others and by understanding that leadership skills are gained through practice, practice and more good practice.

Everyone may become a great leader. Those with energetic, outgoing, confident personalities may find it easier than those who are quiet, more cautious and less confident, but everyone has the capability to lead.  

The keys to become a successful leader are: motivation, perseverance, patience and passion. Additionally, to become a good aquatic fitness leader you must:

  • obtain the necessary knowledge and skills

  • enjoy working with people

  • learn effective communication and interaction skills

Realize that teaching adults( aquatic fitness programs may range from aged 18 -90 years old) is a very diverse and complex undertaking. An instructor/personal trainer has to wear many hats and, at any point in time, may have to be a teacher, a coach, a facilitator, an organizer as well as a friend. There are so many variables to consider when managing a group of people, especially if they have many abilities and skills and most learn differently. The instructor must create a structure that meets the diverse interests and abilities of a group. This entails developing a variety of techniques to help train individuals in the group with different needs. This could be helping someone understand basic cardiovascular movement and others understanding the many muscle movements that will be used in a program. The end goal is to present meaningful material in a way that is both interesting and positive thereby establishing a supportive, non-threatening and enjoyable environment.

WaterART Fitness training offers 4 main formats for learning to enable everyone to feel comfortable, engaged and ultimately successful with growing as a professional and learning the material.

Reading the manual, educational handouts and monthly e-newsletters, reviewing the study guide questions and answers, viewing the laminated reference cards, wall charts, and DVD library,( there are now 90 DVDs and all available via hard copy or video streaming) – we are currently working on DVD091 which will be 7-8 New Rehabilitation Educational Programs),

viewing the power point presentations ( Tutorials are guided by a Master Trainer via video streaming)

With onsite training via a Certified Master Trainer and/or via DVDs and Tutorials, you may listen to the materials over and over again. Hearing, remembering and understanding the terminology and information is really important as you grow your technical skills. NO one may learn everything in one training session or program. You keep building on your knowledge and skills.

Sensory- Practicing movement and looking in good form and posture. Most instructors do not come from professional athletic or dance backgrounds –so learning to move and helping people move (that is the goal of your class) is critical to helping your classes gain the most results. Whether a land session or a water session, a professional should always be able to understand the feeling of the exercises. – in other words, if you don’t know what the movement “feels” like, you cannot understand how to help people move. With water exercise, getting in the water and feeling how to move and what you are moving is imperative to exercise and teaching the movement both on deck and in the water . All of our programs provide reference cards and sample program cards to try and feel and thereby teach your students how each move may be performed safely and effectively.

Practical Application:

WaterART believes in practical application to show that each instructor CAN teach effectively.  All comprehensive programs have mandatory practical assessments because we know that the fastest way to learn to teach is to put together a full sample program. We always recommend practicing on yourself (keep yourself fit), teach your peers, teach your friends or family, teach in front of a mirror, teach in front of a video and see and hear yourself and take a critical look and ask yourself: “Would I like to take a class with this Instructor?”

We know videoing yourself isn’t easy but it is an honest way to look at your programs. Take the time to evaluate and write down answers to the following questions:

What did I do well?

What can I improve on?

Should I talk louder?

Could I move more expressively?,

Was I clear and concise with my directions?  

Realizing that successful leaders are not born -they are created because of good practice and perseverance. Evolving to being a great leader takes hard work and constant self evaluation and ongoing upgrading. We know that often we don’t hear all the good feedback –but there is lots of kind words and good things that people do say when you ask what they liked or learned at a program. Check that out and you will appreciate that putting in time and energy for a balanced, safe and effective program is well worth the journey.

Thank you to all of our Gold Certified Instructors with 5 or more levels of WaterART Fitness Certification.

Fine Tuning Your Instructor Skills with WaterART's NEW Tutorial series - Guided Master Training via Video Streaming or DVD

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