“They either want it the cheapest, or the fastest” I remember a good friend of mine telling me several months before we started Vector Training. He said this to me while I was discussing our delivery model, how we wanted to deliver training programmes and why we wanted to go in this direction at the organisation rather than try to squeeze everything into the shortest possible period of time.
Acknowledging my friend’s comment, but undeterred, I went on to explain how we are going to deliver courses a little differently to others (by being longer in duration, more contact time with tutors and delivery site staff, and delivering in multiple venues linked to the industry). We were going to create programmes that we think will truly add value to our students’ futures, by giving them training that reflects the ever-changing world of sports and fitness.
Different way of delivering
For example, our personal training courses are delivered across two sites during one course, using a bigger commercial gym as well as an independent PT studio or performance centre. Why? Because we understand that not everyone will go on to work in a big commercial gym, and likewise, not everyone will go into a functional PT specific studio once they graduate from our course. Some may work in the local park delivering boot camps. This can sometimes mean the course is longer than other training providers, but we see this as a positive, why wouldn’t you want more face to face training time, from experts in the industry you’re about to enter?
To us, it’s not just about renting a room, hooking up the projector and going out for a practical assessment at the end, then wave you into the sunset while the certificate gets sent in the post. We wanted to deliver something more than that.
Now we know that some people demand everything instantly and online. Which is fine. Our courses do involve some online study and communications however we believe that human interactions are the core of sports and fitness, and that’s why even though our courses do involve some online research and communications; the majority of our training will always be face to face.
As said, it’s not about just renting the facility and doing our own thing. We put a massive emphasis on building strong relationships with our partners and those currently in the industry. Meaning our students will always see trainers in action, attend business and marketing seminars, and shadow real sessions, whilst studying their core qualification. We draw on specialist trainers to deliver these seminars, ranging from successful commercial trainers to niche trainers who may specialise in special population clients or those who have diversified into sport or team specific training. This provides a fuller experience for our students and real life examples of the varied careers trainers can have.
It is not however, just about adding all the extras into our programmes. We knew from day one that to create high quality training, you need the right educators involved who can work with sector specialists to help shape the curriculum. All of our educators are highly qualified as well as still being active in the field they deliver in. Our sectors are continuously evolving so you’ll quickly become out dated if you take your foot off the gas. More importantly, they’re really good people.
We wanted to create a community of Vector Training graduates, so we created the Alumni Programme. We love it. The Alumni Programme will allow our graduates to keep in touch through monthly newsletters and gain discounts on future courses, but the biggest benefit is our annual networking event organised at one of our independent partner gyms. Graduates and staff alike will be able to bounce ideas around and form relationships with other sports and fitness professionals. We wanted to make this happen because it can be pretty lonely when you’ve just graduated, especially in the Personal Training game where it’s reported up to 80% are technically self-employed.
Within the sports coaching world, it is all about the finer details. The finer details can determine if your PE lesson is good or outstanding, or if your team wins or loses. Coaches can create those in the environment they set, equipment they use, and the way they communicate with and manage their participants.
We understand that our learners also appreciate these things. We are working in partnership with a local brand to provide a Vector Training bundle of sector specific equipment to all of our learners. We have done this because we know using quality services and investing in the finer details will provide a professional and enjoyable experience for our students and prepare them for a career in their chosen field.
We do this ourselves, sourcing arguably the best web agency in Manchester to create our unique website, as just one example. It isn’t by chance our website is different to every other educational competitor in the sports and fitness sector. We chose MadebyShape for a reason, because they have a great portfolio, the staff are personable and they stick to their and core principles closely aligned to our own at Vector. Likewise, we want people to study on our courses for similar reasons, because they know what we do is different, we communicate our values and they can trust us to bring better results for their future. We practice what we preach.
Sticking to what we believe in from the start
Coming back to my original point. I continued to discuss our plans with my friend and passionately explained how we were going to do all of the above. He could feel my enthusiasm, and he bought into how we wanted to create Vector Training.
We stood by our initial concept, and although it is early days as a company, we have laid the foundations for us to grow. We are already delivering what we set out to do several months ago, and which was pitched so eagerly to my friend.