"The Shame Game" (Blog #83)
With so many social media outlets these days, it's hard to miss certain trends that go around every so often. The latest trend that is disturbing and annoying is coaches, trainers, nutrtiionists and strength coaches shaming people into training. A good example was something I saw yesterday, where a trainer posted a pic of a very obese man doing a shoulder press and the caption read "What's your excuse?". I see 20+ of these types of posts daily being that I'm in the training game and follow many other trainers, and to be honest it's getting worse.
I regretably was guilty of using posts this way early on in my career also. These posts aren't motivating, it shows poor judement from the person posting them and it's degrating to the audience seeing them. In an ideal world I would love for everyone to be the person they want to be and look and feel the way they really want to feel, but that's not how it works. Everyone needs a point in their life that they finally make that decision to seek help and hire a trainer and/or nutritionist, but that is up to them to decide. Shaming someone into it won't work, never did, and nerer will. When someone has success with losing weight or accomplishments in the gym, thats great; but then to turn that positivity into something negative is uncalled for.
Pushing someone with a little positivity or motivation is a different story, but dont confuse the two. Telling someone they look fat and they should hit the gym is a lot different than inviting them to come to a class with you or maybe inviting them over to your house for a healthy dinner. There are ways to try and help a friend/family memberor potential client in need, versus embarressing them and making them fall deeper into their whole.
As fitness professionals (and I use that term losely with some) it's our job to help people, and inturn those people can help people, and so on. We must do it in a way that shows respect and good charicter across the board. Many people look up to coaches and trainers and watch their every move, it's important to lead by example, and how you talk to others and conduct yourself needs to be top notch at all times.
On the business side of the shame game, you are setting yourslef up for disaster. People will not come to you in flocks becuase you shamed them into it, they'll come to you because you provide a quality product that they can trust. They wont come to you because you made fun of their skinny arms, they'll come to you because they know you have the knowledge and motivation that they are looking for.
Just remember why we all got into this game in the first place....We are here to help those that are looking for a little help. Help them with class and respect and leave the shaming out of it. Humans are tough enough on themselves as it is, the last thing they need is another mean voice in their head...