How Does Combining Stress and Sleep Coaching with Personal Training Improve this Trainer’s Business?
Today we are spotlighting NESTA and Spencer Institute student, Kerstin Smalls. Kerstin enrolled in and become a certified Sleep Science Coach & Stress Management Coach in 2020. She chose NESTA and the Spencer Institute because she was looking to increase her knowledge beyond fitness and move towards helping her clients with health and other factors that impact getting healthy and staying fit. For her, this was the start of being able to add more health coaching to her personal training business.
Why did you decide to become a fitness professional?
My whole life I was a sport and fitness enthusiast. I used to be a competitive swimmer. Recreationally I biked a lot and then started to enjoy fitness, running, and everything around and in the gym. Being active made me feel healthy and happy. My love for exercising took me to become a Jump Rope Instructor, followed by Spin, Kettlebells, Rebounders, CrossFit, … the list is endless. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t just exercising myself but helping people to become fit or reach certain goals, start running, move out of their comfort zone, lose weight or just move better and live pain-free.
How are you currently utilizing your NESTA and Spencer Institute certifications?
I use the tools I learned in the Stress Management and Sleep Science course with my personal training and health coaching clients and during my group fitness classes. Little tips go a long way and help people with their day-to-day life.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a trainer/coach?
The biggest challenge for me was to teach young kids. The preparation of the classes had to be much more thought through and detailed with different options for them to be able to participate. Keeping the attention and interest was a great learning curve for me. Also working with adults who had physical restrictions made me learn to be more inventive with how I teach and what I teach.
What makes you stand out from other trainers or coaches?
I take each client or member as an individual. By getting to know them I can serve them better and understand their wants and needs. First and foremost, I want them to feel good, move better and lead a happier lifestyle. For each class or session, I aspire to teach them so much that they eventually would be able to do what I do for them by themselves. They may choose to stay with me or not to keep fit and healthy and to keep learning from me as I try to stay current on new health & fitness ventures. The fact is, I don’t know everything, but I will humble myself to be as knowledgeable as I can to also learn from each and every client in return.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry? How did your NESTA and Spencer Institute certifications help you reach this goal?
Pfff … that’s difficult. There are so many. Starting off I had a sedentary client with epilepsy who also had never worked out before to run and complete their first full marathon. Then I was working with a client who had suffered a fall resulting in hip/leg surgery and with lots of care we brought back hip mobility and pain-free walking. Another one was a hardworking business owner who had constant back pain. I drilled through how to move right and how to squat until he came in one day to happily share with me that he has no pain anymore. And lately, I have been working with a basketball player who had suffered from an ankle injury many years ago and up until about 6 months ago was not able to jump without knee and ankle pain.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a trainer or coach?
The most rewarding experience is to see my client succeed! Whether it is moving pain-free, achieving higher goals or just making it through the 100-mile bike ride just because I was there supporting them or winning their race or competition, it’s their appreciation and sometimes the willingness to try new things.
How has social media played a role in your business?
I am not a big fan of social media. I like to be in person. But unfortunately, it is part of the business. And it has helped me during the time with Covid to reach people that were not approachable or near.
Any advice for people thinking about a health coaching or personal training career?
As a coach, you should have the mindset that also you are a student. Every one of my teaching experiences has been different and learning what my client is all about it has helped me to be a better coach. Be approachable and love what you do.
What does the future hold for you?
Good question! I wonder that too! I am hoping to do more online and teach virtual classes. And this year I also want to become certified in plant-based nutrition for Athletes.
Want to connect with Kerstin? Check out www.simkercare.com to stay up to date with Kerstin. You can also reach her via Facebook or Instagram. She also has a youtube channel @simkerfitness.
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