Education Can Catapult Your Youth Fitness Career
By Alex Slezak – M.Ed, YFS, YSAS, HSSCS
In Economics 101, you learn about all different types of capital. One example that applies to fitness businesses is financial capital, which is the money used by businesses to lease a facility or spend on advertising. Another example is capital goods such as the kettlebells, bands, and equipment utilized to deliver your services.
Today, I want to talk about a much lesser-known type of capital: human capital. Human capital is the measure of the economic value of an employee’s skill set, and it is extremely valuable. In fact, Human capital might be the most important form of capital for fitness professionals.
Why is human capital so important to our niche? The youth fitness market is a service-based career. Regardless how fancy your facility, savvy your advertising, or cool your training equipment, ultimately people are paying for your services. The more you know and the more experience you have, the better you are at delivering your service. You simply cannot fake being knowledgeable and good at what you do.
To put this in concrete terms, the concept is simple: The more human capital you possess, the more valuable you are to your employer and/or your clients. It is not the facility or any set of tools that really sets coaches apart from one another; rather, it is their human capital.
So how do you grow your human capital and become more valuable? You invest in yourself. You can start by approaching your career in a whole new mindset. Have an inquisitive mind each and every day. Look at every day and every challenge not as going to work but as a way to improve. If you are an intern, learn as much as possible because it will build up your human capital. If you are already employed, view the situation as though you were getting paid not just to do a job but also to learn and invest in yourself.
When it comes to investing in your own human capital, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. Spend your free time reading blog posts from the IYCA or books from people in the industry with tremendous amounts of human capital. In addition, do not be afraid to spend some of your hard-earned money on attending workshops or conferences or on purchasing reputable certifications or courses from organizations like the IYCA. Although spending money is a barrier (and the aforementioned blogs are a great way to learn without spending money), the value of building your human capital will more than make up for the amount you spent.
If you follow the suggestions I’ve given, you will be impressed at how quickly your human capital can grow and how much more valuable you can become to your clients and/or employer. In a service-based industry like the youth fitness market, human capital is what separates the contenders from the pretenders . If you keep growing, your youth fitness career will, too.