Using Speed and Agility to Boost Your Fitness Business
Speed and agility are qualities we tend to apply to athletes only. Yes, athletes need to be able to move fast and change positions quickly and without injury. But anyone interested in fitness and performance can benefit from improving these.
As a personal trainer, your goal is to help clients meet their goals. Whether you’re working training drills with a college athlete, a youth soccer player, or a non-athlete client, improving performance and safety should always be big factors.
A certification in speed and agility can help fitness professionals help clients more effectively. It can lead to more career options, like strength and conditioning coaching. This kind of training requires some specialized knowledge, so consider adding a certification to your qualifications.
What are Speed and Agility?
Speed and agility are two components of movement that are important for athletic performance but also for daily, functional movements, balance, and coordination.
- Speed is simply how fast you can go in a straight line from one point to the next. It’s important for a lot of different sports, not just running. Speed drills help soccer players need to get to the ball first; football players need to outrun other players to get to the endzone or make a tackle; baseball players want to run fast to get to home plate; and even people in their everyday lives want to be faster, to keep up and have fun.
- Agility is the ability to slow down, speed up, and change direction quickly. It often involves speed, but agility is more about controlling movements and speed. Any sport that requires pivoting, changing direction, or changing speed is based on agility. When not participating in a sport, we all still need agility to move effectively and efficiently without getting injured, losing balance, or falling.
Why Get Certified in This Specialty?
There really aren’t any downsides to earning a certification in this area of specialty. Yes, it will require some of your time and a little extra money, but the certification can pay for itself in no time if you use it. With any type of specialty certification as a trainer, you can offer more classes, attract more clients, and even switch to a new career.
Expand Your Offerings to Clients
With specialty certifications, you can offer more to existing clients and potential new clients. A general personal trainer is adequate for many people, but if you had to choose between a trainer with fundamental knowledge only and one with special training, which would you work with?
All clients, at all ability levels, can benefit from speed training and agility instruction. Make sure clients understand that. This is an area of training that is too often assumed to be for serious athletes only. Explain the benefits of working on agility and speed and you’ll draw in more clients seeking help with performance training, injury prevention, strength training, and more.
Attract New Clients
A specialty certification is a great way to attract new business. It’s not just college athletic teams that hire specialists in speed, agility, strength, and conditioning. High school athletics is highly competitive, and parents often hire trainers to work with their youth athletes in the offseason.
Even non-athletes, clients who simply enjoy sports and are interested in improving their performance may be open to working with a speed and agility specialist. People who play tennis regularly or get competitive in recreational soccer leagues will be in your new target audience. With more clients, you can earn more.
Coaches Need Speed and Agility Certification
With this certification, you can also work toward a career in coaching. The requirements for working as an athletic coach depends on the team, the level, and other factors, but having this specialty certification will expand your options.
Keep in mind, though that some of the top strength and conditioning specialists do have four-year college degrees. These are the athletic trainers and coaches for elite athletes and teams. They work for universities or professional teams. With a certification in agility and speed, you can get your foot in the door and start coaching with amateur or high school athletes.
Your Existing Clients Will Benefit
As a trainer, you want to provide clients with the best service, the safest and most effective workouts, and up-to-date information on everything related to fitness. You can train clients well without a deep understanding of agility and speed instruction, and you can also enhance workouts with it.
Your regular clients, even those who aren’t into regular sports or competition, will benefit from speed and agility training. They run and play with their kids or dogs; go skiing; play the occasional pick-up game of basketball; and your clients also are active in many other ways, day after day.
With some focus on speed and agility drills during your sessions, they will begin to move more efficiently and safely in all these activities. Working on agility in particular will improve their balance and coordination and reduce the risk of injuries.
Steps to Getting Certified
To be certified in speed and agility or athletic performance, you need to take a specialized course. Many personal trainer schools offer a program focusing on this type of instruction and most are online. You simply need to find the right program for you, enroll and complete the work, and then take and pass the exam for certification.
Once you are certified, you will probably be expected to maintain that certification with continuing education courses and credits. Most programs require this. Make sure you understand the requirements, including what courses are accepted, the renewal period, and how many credits you need to renew the certification.
What is the Best Speed and Agility Certification?
To train clients in speed and agility, you should have an appropriate certification. There are some different types of courses to consider that will provide what you need to get into this niche. They may go by various names, but many offer similar classes and skills: speed and agility, strength and conditioning, and sports performance, to name a few.
When choosing a program to get certified for this kind of specialty instruction, look for certain important elements. And, if you are not yet a trainer, consider an online personal training program to learn the basics and to get certified. This is the best first step for any career in training, specialized or not.
You Want a Program That Focuses on Performance and Athletes
Even though speed and agility are beneficial for all people of all ages and fitness levels, this is fundamentally an athletic type of training. Speed and agility programs go by many names, but when choosing one make sure the focus is on athletic performance. This is how you know it’s the right kind of course for learning how to train others for improved agility and speed.
Always Choose an Accredited School and Program
Once you’ve narrowed down programs to those that focus on the skills you want to learn, eliminate any that are not accredited. Accrediting ensures that the program you choose will deliver on what it promises and that it isn’t a scam. There are plenty of accredited courses available. There is no reason to settle for one that hasn’t been approved by educational authorities.
Consider the Qualifications of the Instructors or Course Developers
If there are instructors for the program you choose, check out their credentials and experience. Many courses are self-study programs based online. For these, look at the experts who developed the curriculum. They should be qualified to teach others about fitness and training.
Choose a School with Good Student Support
Most schools for personal training courses are online. This is great for a lot of reasons: it’s less expensive; it takes less time to complete a course online; and you can learn at your own pace. The downside is that you don’t get to see instructors in person. Make sure you choose a school that makes up for this with student support. Tech support, educational support, somewhere to ask questions and discuss the subject matter, and support for starting up a personal training career are all important.
Programs that focus on athletic performance, like speed and agility, offer useful certifications for any personal trainer. Whether you want to offer more to your existing clients, attract new clients, or even start working with athletes, this kind of certification will help.
The ISSA’s specialized certification course in Strength and Conditioning is just what you need to get started in this exciting industry.
Strength and Conditioning Certification
Sports are big business-profitable for athletes and individuals who prepare athletes for competition. Professional and amateur athletes at all levels -- from grade-school club teams to the National Football League -- need the assistance of expert personal trainers to excel at their sports.