Quite a lot of people on our Train the Trainer courses who deliver training tell us they won’t or don’t train exclusively; it’s usually a secondary job in addition to their other job(s).  When you have a forced break from training or deliver irregularly, it’s very easy for you to get skills fade.  But when you can train correctly, do you really ‘forget’ how after a break?

I’ve had many breaks from training (including quite a recent one of more than 4 months), and it got me thinking as to how I cope with it; what do I do and how could my experience help others in a similar boat?  Let’s go back to the statement of the blog; it’s quite drastic isn’t it? “I’ve forgotten how to train” but have you really?  I would say that the chances are high that you haven’t forgotten how to train at all, you just need to get yourself back into it by remembering how to do it correctly!  Keeping it simple will help with this, and I would say I follow an elementary routine every time:

1. Preparation is essential here (as it always should be), you should get yourself into a solid prep routine which you keep no matter whether you trained yesterday, last month or last year.  Go through all of your resources and follow the same method but perhaps if you feel like you need to, go over things a few times more; this duplication will give you added confidence and help with nerves.

2. Get yourself back into the environment you will deliver in if you can; especially useful if you haven’t been in there a while as sometimes this can add to any nerves. Familiarity with the environment and the set-up (your set-up) will help you.

3. Make sure you have practised your delivery whether this is just by yourself or with others; again, this will help with confidence and nerves.  It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve delivered the same training; you still need to practise; I can’t stress this enough as this is one of the attributes that makes a good trainer a great one.

4. Review your feedback, focus and reflect on past successes; focussing on the times where you have been successful can help you get back into the ‘zone’ and continue that success.

5. Practise throwing the monkey any chance you get!  This means that when you need to throw it in your training sessions, it still comes naturally.  I throw the monkey every day at home with my wife and daughter, and this helps me so much!

Remember, practise makes better.  I hope these tips help you as much as they do me! If you have any that work well for you that I haven’t touched on, please share them I’d love to hear them.

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.