By: Vic Verdier
Every year, millions of people are heading to the gym in January, full of promises and good resolutions. They have one motivation and one motivation only: feeling better. They might be looking at instant gratification, the feel-good burst of dopamine, or the “pump” that comes from lifting weight multiple times. More often, the gratification is more delayed, like preventing injuries, shedding unnecessary weight and building a better physique. Some reach their goals while others give up, often because of the lack of support. There are many journeys that are difficult to navigate alone.
We all know that a good way to stay on track is through accountability, because, as Napoleon Hill said it best: “there is no better motivator than the fear of failing in front of others.” When someone needs more discipline in order to reach a goal, there is nothing like telling everyone about what they try to accomplish.
Becoming a MovNat Certified Trainer has been, for many over the years, a way to reach a similar goal, thanks to the well-proven benefits of the MovNat curriculum, large set of Natural Movement skills and lifestyle choices. Of course, most trainers, teachers, instructors and coaches who are passing along all sorts of skills and knowledge in many activities every day, usually enjoy sharing what they are passionate about. But for many of them, including many MovNat Trainers, teaching is also a way to be more accountable in front of their peers and their students, simply because pretending never lasts for long.
I’ve been an Instructor for the last 35 years and my experience has always been the same, regardless of the subject I am teaching: I cannot fake it in front of my students. It’s easy to give some advice on social media. it’s easy to be “All talk and no walk” and to follow the usual “Do what I say, not what I do“. It’s a lot harder when you teach.
If you want to be good at teaching a skill, you have to:
- Practice it – There is no way around it. You learn a skill during your MovNat Trainer Certification event and you are tested on your ability to perform this skill properly. But no one is perfect and if you want to be better at it, you need repetitions, even more if you haven’t done it for a while.
- Understand it – Sometimes we are able to do something without really understanding how to do it. Some skills must be performed with a certain amount of speed – it would be pretty difficult to do a slow-motion jump – but most skills should be also practiced very slowly, because that is how we start to understand the many components involved in any movement we do.
- Explain it – Verbalizing a movement is where the magic happens. This is how our brain goes from the cognitive phase (learning a skill) to the communication phase (teaching a skill). Skills are already described in the MovNat Trainer Manual and in Erwan Le Corre’s book – The Practice of Natural Movement – but there is nothing like using your own words, especially when you are not a native English speaker.
- Demonstrate it in front of students – That’s the Litmus test, the moment you pass or fail in front of others. Not only should a demonstration show the skill well enough for the students to have a good visual image of what you will expect from them, but it should also be slow and descriptive enough by itself to give them a clear understanding of the sequence and timing of the movement.
- Answer their questions about it – If you feel a bit afraid of performing a skill in front of others, imagine what your students are feeling when they are about to do the same thing with a skill they have never done before. Keep their anxiety level low by answering their immediate questions. You will be surprised how often a question will trigger a deeper reflection about a skill you thought you knew very well.
- Analyze the problems they are facing while doing it – As a MovNat Trainer, treat every student you have as someone special, simply because they are! Everyone has a different morphology, different injuries and limitations, a different fitness background and different fears. Take your time to analyze their movements, asymmetries, postural problems, breathing inefficiencies and why they experience some bumps in the road in a specific skill.
- Help them overcome their obstacles – Everyone can learn pretty much anything online and find a video of any movement, even sometimes with a tutorial. What is missing in this one-way communication channel is the feedback from the Trainer. How does a student know if they are doing it right and how to improve? This is where your in-depth knowledge of a skill really shows up. You understand the skill and its components, and you understand the student and their problems. Now is the time to give them the right regression of the skill, or to find a better way for them to perform it. Here again you cannot fake it: the way you quickly and efficiently solve their problem is the proof that you are a competent and experienced MovNat Certified Trainer.
What I learned very early on in my career as a MovNat Instructor is that being healthy, moving better, being injury-free and thriving in life are all skills. And what better motivation to practice these skills than sharing them with others while becoming better at them in the process?
Therefore this year, if you are an Active MovNat Certified Trainer, commit to give “the Gift of Health“. Decide that you will share wellness with the people around you. Do it as a business, do it as a not-for-profit activity, or just do it because you want to improve your own life.
If you want to move better and delay the effects of aging, teaching MovNat skills to your family members, your friends and your community will get you closer to your goal.
If you simply want to feel and look better, your best bet is to train others to all the mobility, strength and conditioning aspects of MovNat. Also show them the benefits of proper lifestyle choices in terms of sleep, nutrition, time spent in Nature and stress management. In a world that desperately needs better health and more movement, sharing MovNat is the win-win.
Take a Deep Dive into Natural Movement Fitness
Whether you’re completely new to Natural Movement® Fitness , or a seasoned veteran looking to expand your skillset, the MovNat Level 1 Certification is your launchpad to a deep understanding of natural human movement, how to integrate it into your training and lifestyle, and help others do the same. It equips you with the knowledge, skills, and methods you need to transform your movement & fitness and build real world capability from the ground up.
If you’re already a MovNat Certified Trainer looking to keep your teaching and movement skills sharp, take full advantage of the perks of maintaining – or returning to – Active MovNat Trainer Membership status.