One of the many rewards of owning your own studio is to create an environment to not only offer movement training, but to also offer a place for future trainers to learn! It has been my pleasure over the last 10 years to be a Master Instructor for Balanced Body offering teacher training courses. As with many training courses, there is an additional requirement for registrants to complete – personal and practical sessions!
The moment I had the opportunity to open my own studio, I created the Pilates Apprentice Program at Fitness Physiques by Nico G. This program (3, 6, or 12 month offering) allows the new Pilates student teacher to witness, apply, and question all the information presented in the teacher training modules in real time.
The apprentice program is self paced depending on the student trainer’s schedule. They can commit to as little or much time they want on a weekly basis. They have free access to observe any and all group and private sessions, which offers the rich opportunity to see in real time clients with a variety of backgrounds and goals. Coinciding with observation, the student teacher will receive a variety of case studies to research and present. Many of the case studies are current clients so they relate the information immediately.
The case studies also give the student teacher an opportunity to build confidence when working with special populations. Now they have built a file of case studies with multiple workout sessions per type of unique scenario. When they finally go out on their own they have not only historical theory but practical experience and workouts to review when they need.
Some extra perks of the program is that they receive “seamless” information from all of our trainers on staff since we are all Balanced Body trained. Along with receiving discounts for future modules and workshops, they get to be part of the team at the studio and create their own voice. Meanwhile, clients see their dedication and progress which builds client rapport. Clients see that not only we are an Authorized Training Center for Balanced Body, but we also offer ongoing support. Additionally, we are proud that many of the neighboring studios have benefited from trainers that have gone through our teacher training programs and apprentice programs.
Many owners may raise an eyebrow on the aforementioned. I certainly did. Let me be clear, I wear two hats at the studio: 1. being a studio owner and 2. as an educator. I knew going into this that I would have trainers take trainings and go to a neighboring studio. I’m not about contracts or restriction and I was prepared it would happen. Guess what? It’s OK. Many trainers come through the door to be trained but not all of them come in to be a trainer at Fitness Physiques by Nico G. Not only must they want to teach at my studio but they also need to accept the culture. One of my long time mentors and friend Tom McCook told me years ago, before I opened the studio, that I must create an environment that reflects my vision and values. If you hire trainers just for revenue and overlook your personal beliefs then you are stuck, yet again, working for someone else, and you have lost the harmonious environment you tried to create. I never forgot those words from Tom and it still holds true today!
When I wear my educator hat, I keep my owner hat on the coat rack. Being a learning center and supportive environment for trainers has been rewarding for everyone involved. Supporting the Pilates community and beyond brings me great joy and gratitude for what I GET to do each day and neighboring studios have continued to send student teachers without fear of competition.