The Importance of a simple introduction
When interning at a strength and conditioning facility most athletes have been training at the gym for many years and have developed strong relationships with the current staff. In addition, they have likely been there for many summers of changing interns and part-time staff. When this is the case their tendency is to rely on the people who have been there consistently. This might seem cold but really comes down to human nature. Put yourself in a similar situation, if you had a problem and there were ten people lined up ready to help, all equally qualified, but you had previously met one of those people. You would obviously choose that one person to help you because you are naturally more comfortable with someone you know than someone you don’t.
As an intern, it is your job to make sure every person who walks in the gym knows that you are there to help. This will help break there tendency to go to the more senior members of the staff. From my experience this summer there is one simple step you can take to ensure this is the case. Throughout the internship make sure to introduce yourself to every single new person who walks into the gym. This is not an easy task and might feel awkward especially if you are not a social person. It might not work on every athlete and you might have to work harder with some than others but a simple “Hi my name is ______ It is a pleasure to meet you I am going to be working here for the next couple months let me know if there is anything I can help you out with” can go along way in getting off to a strong start. It is important to note after you tell an athlete you are there to help them you need to be locked and demonstrate a level of competency so they gain confidence in that ability.
This theory has held true during my summer at Athletic Performance Training. The athletes who have no problem coming to me with questions about their lifting, nutrition, etc, or even just to talk about there weekend are the ones who I went up to at the beginning of the summer and made a point to introduce myself. In contrast, the athletes who I failed to introduce myself to still walk past me in favor of the more senior members of the staff.