You have to be good at your job. Period
If you want to achieve a high level of success, you have to know what you're doing. In fitness, you have to be an expert problem solver. You have to be a master of the human body and understand exactly which buttons to press in order to get the result you want. There's only one route to this level of mastery and that is through education.
When I arrived at Spring Training in 2013 for my first year as a Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks, my lack of education was glaring. I was routinely embarrassed by my incompetence in our daily staff meetings. I knew what I had to do. I invested thousands of dollars over the next few years in myself. I took every course/seminar that I possibly could. I read hundreds of books to catch up.
I had big goals. I wanted to be an NBA Strength Coach and I knew I wasn't just going to stumble into one of those jobs. I had to earn my way there. But what I saw from other coaches around the industry was that they were completely unwilling to go the extra mile. That motivated me. That drove me to take even more courses.
When we were winning at halftime, my college basketball coach used to say, "it's time to step on their throat." And that's what I was trying to do. Once I realized so few other coaches were going to give my level of effort, I gave even more. I stepped on their throat.
That's why I was in the NBA in just four years. When the job came open. I was ready. I had built the reputation of an intelligent coach. I was an expert problem solver.
There are a lot of different routes you could take when picking things to study. Neuroscience is the grand-daddy of them all. As trainers, our job is to create a change in our clients' body but the brain is what is going to decide whether or not that's going to happen. If you don't understand the brain, can you really understand how to train someone? If you have never studied neuroscience, you are quite simply guessing. In my world, I cannot accept guessing. I have set an incredibly high bar for myself and my company, guessing is not part of the business plan.
I recommend learning everything you can about the brain, nutrition, gait mechanics, breathing and exercise physiology. The more you master these topics, the higher you will soar. These are subjects that are on the deepest level of human health and performance. You can't get any deeper than this and THAT is why you MUST learn them.
I realize this may be a daunting task but if you are asking yourself if you really want to do this or maybe you are already loading up your XBOX in hopes to put this article in your rearview mirror, please remember that this is threshold. This is the point where we lose 99% of the population. This is the reason I have been able to be so successful and I thank you for that. So what's it going to be?
The inconvenient truth about building an ultra successful fitness career is that networking will always play a big part of it. You can be the smartest person in the world but if you never leave your house and don't let people know how smart you are (and I don't mean tweeting that you're so smart), then you can never build on that knowledge. Take a few minutes and read this article on networking so that you can grasp both sides of what it takes to build your ultimate career success.