This is a quick blog to share some inspired words from Stuart Pearce, that I think everyone could learn from.

Although he is speaking about the England Manager’s job, the carry over to our industry, and for that matter any industry, is immense. When asked about the role of England Manager, Stuart said the following –

“I’m more experienced today than I was nine months ago. I’ll be more experienced again after the summer. Come Wednesday night, I’ll be a lot more experienced about what it’s like to stand in the technical area as the England senior manager, and the exposure that throws at you.”

He went on to say

“But I have only managed for 160 games. At this present moment in time, it is not for me.”

Essentially, he is talking about flying hours. About the fact that it is possible to learn to be good, but it is not possible to learn to be experienced, that is something you need to become. Flying hours is the term I adopted to help my Diploma students understand why FASTER build communities not courses, and is also a way of reassuring people that as much as you know your stuff, there is nothing that replaces experience, and the only way to get experience is to go practice and use your skills.

Stuart Pearce, when he started as a caretaker manager at Nottingham Forest, famously showed his first team sheet to his wife, to see what she thought, and she counted 11 outfield players, he had forgotten a Goal Keeper! As he started to get through his coaching badges, on every course his performance stood out as exceptional. In his first management job at Manchester City, although he kept them in the Premier League, he struggled to turn that talent into success. Now he works with the England Under 21’s side and has been reasonably successful, spending a lot of time learning from the senior managers who take charge of the national side.

As a Personal Trainer, you need to make sure you have a great mentoring system and some people you can learn from. This is the idea behind FASTER building communities (4000+ on Main Facebook Page as well as having dedicated places for people to share their knowledge and experience (Fitness Newspaper) and also a place to ask questions and get them answered by the best students we have, Facebook FTE page a place where many people get their questions answered at remarkable speed.

An example of how the flying hours worked for me, would be the development of my assessments and solutions. When I first started working with people for hands on solutions, I would do everything in a static position, similar to the one that I assessed them in. Then I progressed to a place where I would assess them in a more dynamic assessment, usually walking and then apply solutions in walking. As I have become more experienced, I now have the opportunity to use a lot more skills, and a lot less assessments to get a result. Looking back, I cringe a little about what I first did to help people, yet I got results and worked from a sound theoretical plan. I imagine the techniques and skills I am now using and the way I am using them, will cause me to cringe in the future, however I know I am delivering to the best of my ability and experience level at this moment in time.

Here is a video of me working now, I borrowed it from Bond Fitness, where I was holding a course at the time.


John Hardy