The Importance of Professional Development

professional development

Behind all great programs and credible leaders, trainers and instructors is the commitment to personal and professional development. While sophisticated equipment, cutting-edge technology and science-based research are essential, nothing is going to influence clients and members more than the credibility and expertise of the fitness professional leading in the front lines.

As 2019 approaches the end of its first quarter, it is a great time to review your personal and professional goals to make sure you are on track. With conference season now upon us, this is your time to make an investment in yourself. Because when you do, you are in investing in the future of your business.  

I believe both personal and professional development are essential.  This can be said for any industry, but it is most critical for club owners and leaders because of the ever-changing and disruptive nature of our industry. As the industry grows, develops and matures, so should we. 

As fitness professionals, we are blessed with many exceptional conferences to choose from, and in my experience, you should attend no less than two events a year to stay engaged and up-to-date. At least one of these events should relate directly to your role in your business, and another to complement your role or to support your personal development.  

For example, if you are a club or studio operator, you should attend your country’s annual industry conference, like IHRSA’s International Convention & Trade Show, among others. 

You can take advantage of lectures and workshops, motivational keynote addresses and panel discussions, not to mention be there to network and attend the trade show to meet vendors and negotiate deals. In addition, being present at these events exposes you as a leader in the presence of other fellow industry leaders.

The time, money and energy you invest in yourself will most certainly deliver a positive ROI in your business. Leaders who attend conferences every year stand out in the industry and, quite often, step up into presenting roles or join industry boards and committees so that they can give back and contribute their knowledge and expertise to others.  

Mo Hagan is the vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro.

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