Claire was one of the 16 people who did our windsurf instructor course in June 2016. Her bubbly, chatty nature, natural ability and infectious enthusiasm led us to hire her as our Company Representative / Watersports Instructor for peak season. Here's what she had to say about the 5 week course, and teaching her first ever lesson as a qualified instructor!
"A 5 week Horizon Watersports Instructor Course really is a fantastic way to begin a career in the watersports industry. After carrying out the windsurfing instructor course which ran in May 2016, any of us that wanted a job straight after the course were found work by Horizon Watersports. Everyone within the course received advice and suggestions to help with the next steps when they were ready to work. This meant that when they wanted to start their new career they weren’t starting with a blank canvas.
There are a multitude of ways to use the qualification meaning there is something for everyone’s skill set. The experienced Horizon Watersports team could give advice to me on working abroad, working at home, working with big companies, working with smaller companies.... to name but a few, and this information proved very valuable.
Not only was advice given but so too was practical experience and a chance to really get to know what the job involved. Having that practical knowledge, for example, of how a centre works and how to deal with different pieces of equipment, really does stand you in good stead when it comes to beginning work. I think this is what made it so much easier for all of us trainees to enter the industry. We understood what would be expected of us and had a good grasp on the job as a whole.
After gaining a job in the watersports industry, it doesn’t take long before you are expected to instruct your own lesson for the first time. This is quite a daunting experience. Over the course you do get a chance to practice instructing, however, with the safety blanket of an experienced member of staff to make sure nothing is majorly going wrong.
We were very lucky in that we not only had a chance to teach our peers, but we also taught a group of actual beginners that were visiting the centre. This task was a massive boost for all of our confidence. We were at a point where we could actually teach watersports to customers - the job we all had hoped we would be able to do. This definitely made the leap to teaching my first solo lesson much less intimidating.
Doing any job for the first time is a little bit nerve racking. However, I definitely felt well equipped for the task at hand when it came to teaching alone for the first time. It went a lot better than I had anticipated and the guests seemed to enjoy it and learn a lot! A big part of developing as an instructor involves the ability to be flexible. A plan is definitely required, however, no session will run the same as the last one, so being attentive and forward planning are definitely a must. The weather, the students and the aims of the lessons are always different - which keeps you on your toes and makes the job so much fun!
My instructor certificate has definitely opened up doors for the future. The way Horizon Watersports teach really does make moving into the industry much smoother. Being directly employed after the course has definitely been a great bonus, and has kick-started fantastic careers for some very happy (and well trained!) instructors!"