Winner: Wellness Professional Of The Year


1. ‘It’s all about people’.  People don’t connect with a treadmill, an elliptical or a smith machine, people connect with people.  Emphasis MUST be placed on having the right people working to create a difference in people’s lives rather than investing in the most expensive equipment and not investing in staff.

2. ‘It’s the small things that count’.  The importance of the smallest interactions you have with people must never be underestimated, these interactions can be the difference between someone taking a step to change their lives or being pushed further in the opposite direction.

3. ‘Listen’.  While feedback isn’t always the feedback we want to hear, it comes from somewhere and if one person is thinking it, the chances are, so are others!  We must listen to people and never be too proud to admit that something needs to be changed, removed added or tweaked.

4. ‘See the bigger picture’.  In a corporate facility such as Cleveland Clinic hospital where we were located, you never know what happened in a persons day before they arrived at the gym to train.  If someone is being rude, has a bad attitude, or loses their temper, make allowances as they work in high pressure environments and you never know what they may be dealing with.

5. ‘It’s all about service’.  We are in a customer service industry before anything else.  People were always blown away by the level of service they received from our receptionists when they walked through the doors.  This sets the bar for the fitness team to follow.  If people don’t enjoy interacting with you, they wont come back, regardless of how good the fitness is!

6. ‘Must be fun’.  Yes people need to see results, however if they don’t enjoy what they are doing they won’t continue.

7. ‘Be passionate & genuine’.  Passion is so contagious, if you’re passionate and knowledgeable people will buy-in to your initiatives.  People will also see right through you if you don’t mean what you say - be genuine!

8. ‘Must be sustainable’.  In order for people to positively change their lives, the change must be sustainable, therefore the programming of the fitness sessions needs to reflect this.  It’s not about making people feel so horrendous they cant come back to the gym for a week!

9. ‘Must be convenient’.  Finding time to visit a gym is hard enough so sessions/timings must be as convenient as possible.  At Cleveland Clinic we facilitated classes at all hours of the day to accommodate night shift staff, express classes for those who like to train on lunch breaks, and challenges for those who didn’t feel they could attend the gym at all.

10. ‘Must be results driven’.  Even if all of the above are fulfilled, if people don’t see and feel the desired results from their sessions they will not continue.  The fun, the enjoyment, the service and the sense of community must be underpinned with solid scientific programming which works!


1. Don’t be one dimensional

2. Don’t underestimate the power that sense of belonging and the sense of being part of a community provides people

3. Don’t cheap out on staff - you get what you pay for!

4. Don’t be afraid to do things differently

5. Don’t be inconsistent - you can’t expect your members to be consistent if your services are not

6. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver

7. Don’t dodge negative feedback

8. Don’t give up on people

9. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal - ‘fitness people’ are already perceived to me intimidating enough!

10. Don’t take yourself too seriously!