For Instructors

Never Assume

The other day I taught a class of experienced riders, or so I thought. I asked the class who was new to the Spinning® program and if anyone needed getting help set up on their bike. Of course, nobody raised their hands nor came up to ask for help so I started class as usual. I asked who is new to the Spinning ® program once more to make sure that I caught all of the late arrivals, but again nobody responded. When we get a class full of riders that we think are experienced, we have a tendency to feel comfortable in our coaching style. We assume that everyone knows what we are talking about and begin to use the jargon of our trade. RPM, cadence, hand position, movements and resistance cues roll off of our tongues as if we were talking to a group of instructors. We sometimes fail to realize that our coaching may not be reaching everyone in our class. Let me go back to the other night. After class, someone came up to me and asked how he can take the bounce out of his movement when he is doing a standing climb. I asked how long he had been taking Spinning® classes and his response took me by surprise when he said, ?Oh, this was my first class.? Then it dawned on me. I had forgotten to cue the progression in the detail that I do for a new student. It was a complete unintentional omission of the steps that can help improve the riding style of every rider in my class. I know I learned an important lesson that night. Not about assuming that everyone had prior Spinning ® program experience, but that I need to make sure my cues are well thought out and informative. I realized that I was asking students to take the bounce out of their pedal stroke, but not telling them how because I thought they all knew better. My student and I had a good conversation after class. I told him that he needed to initiate his pedal stroke a little earlier and start to pull back from the three o?clock position through the bottom of the pedal stroke like he were scraping mud off of his shoes. I drew him a picture of the pedal stroke and how he can stop the bounce. We chatted for a few minutes and he thanked me for explaining the pedal stroke. Lesson learned!!! blog by Ralph Mlady for community.spinning.com 4/29/2011
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