More of a lifestyle than a job
A smile and a relentless go-getter attitude does not come issued with a physical training instructor rate badge, but it is a quality engrained in Navy trainers.
Petty Officer Jake Garrick, of HMAS Harman, said being a physical trainer was not a job anyone could do.
“They call us the 1 per cent for a reason,” Petty Officer Garrick said.
“Our job is not just floating around sipping brews, doing high-fives and running Aerobics Oz Style.”
The BMX rider said it was not just a job, but a lifestyle.
Recent physical training instructor course graduate Leading Seaman Ben Williams said he believed the leadership role meant mastering communication, public speaking and interpersonal skills.
“One of the biggest things is being able to stand in front of 100-plus people and have confidence to take the class,” Leading Seaman Williams said.
“You need to have a sense of humour about yourself, be able to get up there and encourage everyone.”
Petty Officer Garrick said dad jokes were not an ill attempt at humour but were all part of creating a relaxed atmosphere.
“You’ve got to make it comfortable, you have got to break the ice at the start. You can see it on their faces – they are nervous,” Petty Officer Garrick said.
“We are not here to intimidate but to motivate.
“Everyone is human and we are motivated to help everyone get over that line.”
Physical Training Instructor Work Group Planner Warrant Officer Paul Williams said an approachable, empathetic and enthusiastic attitude were essential in a trainer.
“We are always looking for the right people with the right attitude,” he said.
The category comprises 90 personnel with 20 of those sea positions.
“At sea, you do three physical training sessions a day, hold watches, are a member of the boarding party and produce daily orders,” Petty Officer Garrick said.
“There is the maintenance of all the gear, it gets grotty at sea pretty quick.
“For me though, I love my seamanship and help out on the ropes whenever I get a chance.”