For Instructors

IPOD Users! Get it together.

I have only used an IPOD for 18 months, but I have been watching instructors use them for years and I am rarely impressed. Here's the problem: instructors seem to be lasez faire about actually choosing the songs for class beforehand and making a playlist that they stick to for the ride. I don't think I have yet taken a class where the instructor who was using an IPOD didn't screw it up somehow. The are always fiddling with it. It is distracting at best and can be very annoying when they let one song start, push stop and then scroll through to find the song they want. The other day I was taking a cycling class and the instructor's peddle became wrapped around the IPOD cord snapping the cord into three pieces. The instructor then had to turn on the lights to see if it was fixable. Since it wasn't, the instructor had to exit the room and tell someone of the problem because of back to back classes. When the instructor returned, a CD had to be located and inserted before class continued. While waiting, the students sat up, started talking and basically quit training for several minutes. The momentum of the riders greatly suffered and the last 10 minutes of class were awkward. These problems are easy to fix. A professional instructor, who wants to be prepared for anything sits at the computer and creates a playlist and downloads it to his or her IPOD. A professional instructor then creates a written ride profile to bring to class that includes the class goal ( Strength, Interval etc) and some objectives (peddle stroke drills, visualizations etc) as well as modifications for different levels of riders. Lastly, the professional instructor either burns a CD of the playlist, or brings along several other CD's of cycling music just in case there is a malfuncion of equipment, the IPOD goes dead or a cord is snapped in half. Not fiddling around with the IPOD during class and having a backup CD will increase the trust and respect of your students. It will help maintain the energy in the room because you aren't changing music out constantly and you can solve equipment problems without much fuss if they should occur.
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