Disability Youth Overview Part 5

This is the last of our series.  We will discuss learning disabilities, autism, and behavior differences.
Learning Disability
A learning disability is a disorder in which spoken or written language, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or mathematical calculations is a struggle. That learner is typically one or more grade levels below the average child, and for that individual, learning is quite difficult. Milestones in motor skills and memorization are inhibited. If a teacher or trainer can provide activities using the learner’s strengths, increased visual and verbal directions, and hands-on experiences, the learner can experience success. Many people misunderstand students with learning disabilities and mistakenly characterize them as lazy, weird, and socially impaired. These persons learn differently, and the attuned teacher or trainer must realize that learners should work in their own ways.

You’re Right, Personal Trainers Aren’t Sales People!

 “It’s not my job to sell people, it’s my job to train people”

With words like pushy, annoying, sleazy and yuck springing to most peoples minds when they think of a salesperson, it’s little wonder personal trainers hate being associated with this label.

And with the rise of more and more people becoming personal trainers in today’s already saturated market, getting reoccurring paying clients can be almost as difficult as getting a perfect squat.

So can you really be a successful personal trainer with lots of paying clients without being the ‘pushy’ salesperson?

Have a look at the top reasons why personal trainers aren’t salespeople and what can be done about it to create the perfect balance between the two titles.

Anxiety 101

Stress seems so rampant in our society.  As our world accelerates through added pressure at work, technology and the fast pace of our world so does the opportunity to suffer from this condition. Anxiety can develop from biological sensitivity, personality type or overload.

Someone who is anxious is often responsible, hardworking and a perfectionist. They are sensitive to criticism, fearful of rejection and aim to please and seek approval.  They are affected by others’ opinions, need to be in control, have difficulty relaxing, difficulty with strong emotions and being assertive.

Disability Youth Overview Part 4

Last month we talked about motor skill differences with children.  This month we will discuss varies mental disabilities.
Mental Disabilities
People with mental impairments develop at a slower rate emotionally, developmentally, and physically. Genetic conditions, problems with pregnancy, and early health problems may cause mental retardation. Mental retardation is very common, affecting 3 out of every 100 people. There are four basic levels of retardation. With all mental disabilities, the structure is key. Advice for working with those students with mental retardation includes breaking down tasks into simpler steps, using concise simple directions, providing opportunities for repetition, repeating tasks and skills, and striving for appropriate age-level behavior. A good teacher or trainer will have more than one way to accomplish a goal if the first way they teach the student does not work.

Indoor Activity! Indoor Fun and Learning!

I have had the opportunity this year to have a fairly large classroom. And I have found that kids like activity in their learning.  Presently, I have various sports equipment that I bought either at the Dollar Tree, Five Below, or on Amazon.  Here is some of the equipment I have used in my classroom.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand-and-arm condition that causes numbness, tingling, and other symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist. A number of factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including the anatomy of your wrist, certain underlying health problems, and possibly patterns of hand use. Bound by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve produces the numbness, tingling and, eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome.

Disability Youth Overview Part 3

This is the third in the series on youth disabilities. This month we will focus on motor skill disabilities.

Motor Skills
Children with motor skills disabilities often have another disability. They move slowly and have a hard time controlling their muscles. Some children suffer from lack of ability with large motor movements such as running, jumping, kicking and throwing, and catching, and others with small motor movements such as using their hands and fingers. Teachers and trainers must work together with an adaptive physical educator to find simplified ways to teach fitness skills. It is helpful to teach academic and physical skills by breaking the tasks down into small parts. Fine motor skills that should be integrated into academic and fitness activities include kneading with dough, working with modeling clay, using whole punchers, cutting with scissors, and writing in sand or shaving cream. Painting with a bucket of water on a chalkboard or driveway and writing words on a chalkboard or sidewalk are good activities to include in fine motor coordination. An occupational and physical therapist is helpful in the gym, classroom, and home.

Disability Youth Overview Part 2

Last month we talked about working with children with physical disabilities.

We will continue the discussion of physical impairments with visual, hearing and speech and language impairments.
Visual Impairments
A visual impairment is more than someone who wears eyes glasses. Their visual acuity is 20/70 or less, and they will struggle with vision, even when using a corrective prescription. A trainer or teacher may assist the student by using verbal directions and by asking the student for how the student learns best. Because of their limited vision, the student often has poor motor skills and displays easy fatigue. Ask them how they would feel comfortable being guided. Give students mental pictures and descriptive words. Simplifying the game or skill is also effective.  Also, give a mental picture of the environment and have a student helper that can stay with the participant as they participate in the activity.  If the child is partially sighted use reflective tape for visual guidance.

9 Tips to Boost Your Confidence as an Instructor

1. Study with the best.  Great instructors remain students at heart and never lose the desire to learn from the best.  Develop relationships with mentors and keep up with your continuing education.  Do workshops that dive deeper into a particular focus.  Take fitness classes outside your niche to open your mind to different cues, stretches, and movement patterns.

2. Work on your voice.  Vocal energy has a huge impact on your leadership role when teaching a class (or training one-on-one.)  Think of people you greatly admire.  Chances are they have great voices.  At the very least make sure people can understand and hear you.  Consider a local voice class as part of your continuing education or check out YouTube for vocal exercises to increase your range and protect your voice. 

5-Week Strategy: Transitioning Into Spring Running

Spring is here! You are probably excited to get outside and run.  You may have a 5K or 10K race this spring that looks interesting to you and you are anxious to get ready for it and to do well. Depending on what you have been doing this winter, you need to be careful transitioning to spring running to avoid injury. Here are some guidelines:

If you have been running indoors all winter: 

If you live in a climate like Chicago, you have likely spent the winter running on a treadmill or track.  In this case, you need to transition carefully to running outdoors.  The running surfaces and conditions outdoors are much different in terms of their impact on your body.  To avoid injury, don’t suddenly start running outdoors.  Instead, follow this strategy:

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