Is your active leisure apprenticeship just about to start? Congratulations! An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to combine your passion for fitness and wellness with a rewarding career. You’ll develop new skills and improve your knowledge – all while doing something you love!
Here are seven tips as you get started on your apprenticeship journey:
1. Be positive!
Approach your apprenticeship with an open mind and a positive attitude. Every challenge you face is an opportunity for growth, and to learn something new. Be willing to learn, adapt and improve. An enthusiastic attitude will not only make the experience enjoyable, but it is a quality employers look for.
2. Set goals.
One of the first things you’ll do with your manager and your training provider is to set learning and career goals. So, why not have a think about you want to achieve before you start? Which skills do you want to gain? Are there specific sports or types of exercise you're particularly interested in? Setting goals will give you a sense of direction and purpose, helping you stay focused on your personal and professional development.
3. Be curious.
The sector is ever-evolving, with new trends, techniques, and technologies constantly emerging. Be curious and eager to learn about the latest developments. Listen to what your customers want to achieve – is there something you could offer or learn to help them reach their goals? Read around the subject, find relevant online information, and follow experts in the field. Ask your colleagues, mentor and managers about their experiences, insights, and advice. A thirst for knowledge will set you apart – and will help your customers and business to thrive.
4. Communication is key.
Effective communication is key in any profession, and working in the leisure sector is no exception. Whether you're interacting with colleagues, customers or managers, clear communication ensures that everyone is on the same page. In your role, you may be leading sessions, so think about how you are going to convey instructions to people in your classes – or make sure safety information is understood.
5. Be a team player.
You’re likely to be working closely with others, whether you’re planning group fitness classes, coordinating events, or collaborating on projects. Embrace teamwork and contribute your ideas while respecting those of your colleagues. Being a supportive team player will help you create a positive work environment and enhance the quality of your projects.
6. Get organised.
Balancing work, learning, and personal life during your apprenticeship can be challenging. Learn how to manage your time effectively. Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and project management apps to stay on top of your tasks. Being organised will help you meet deadlines, complete assignments, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
7. Embrace feedback.
Constructive feedback is a valuable tool for improvement. Don't shy away from it; embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Act on the feedback you receive, adjusting your approach and refining your skills. Demonstrating your willingness to learn from feedback shows your commitment to continuous improvement.
Final guiding thoughts!
Above all, never lose sight of your passion for exercise, sport and wellbeing. Enthusiasm can be infectious to those around you. Whether you're leading a fitness class, assisting in event planning, or gaining a new skill or qualification, your passion will inspire those around you and fuel your own personal and professional growth.
Starting out on an apprenticeship is exciting – and can also be a little bit daunting too. By approaching it with a positive attitude, setting clear goals, and maintaining a passion for learning, you're laying the foundation for a successful and fulfilling career.
I’m Jamie Fawkes, operations manager for active leisure at COPA. I’ve worked in the health and fitness industry for 20 years, starting as an apprentice gym instructor working towards my gym instructing qualification, then my Personal Training qualification. I love the fitness sector and have worked with a range of businesses and learners, helping them reach their career goals in the sector.
COPA is a specialist provider in the leisure sector. We offer a range of active leisure apprenticeships, courses and qualifications across Wales and England. We support people across the leisure sector wherever they are on their learning journeys – be that from early in careers through apprenticeships to short courses as part of continuing development and professional development.