For Instructors

Top 5 characteristics for being a good coach

Now here is a tough one for you? What are the top 5 characteristics a good instructor needs to teach Spinning® classes?

 

I am sure you can come up with 100 parameters that make an instructor special. So i decided to line up some of the bare essentials to being a good instructor, but feel free to disagree of course, that is what this blog is all about.

Let’s start:

1/           Be there.

And i mean literally be there, and not the punctuality side of it. I mean really being there when you say you will be. Having worked with several hudreds of instructors it seems you might not be able to take this for granted so easily as a club manager/owner. As an instructor,please make sure that you are an instructor that can be counted on!

Facility Spinning® communities are built on solid, steady and reliable instructors. You are the backbone of the Program so rule number 1 is for you to be very disciplined about your agenda and planning. Your stability as an instructor will be rewarded in so many ways!

2/           Be competent and knowledgeable à Know what
you are teaching!

Very often while visiting a club i see indoor cycling classes where the instructor clearly has no formal education of any kind. It saddens me to see that so many gifted instructors are not taking more time to get educated. And i also get frustrated to see members will not achieve results with the workouts offered by these instructors as classes mainly lack correct purpose.

 It is so nice to take educations and evolve as a person and learn more. There are so many things you will be able to share with your members if you know more. So i cannot insist enough on the ‘being a constant learner’ as an instuctor. You want to be hungry to learn everything there is to know about what you are teaching. In our field that is obviously the Spinning® manual, exercise physiology, outdoor cycling, music, mental coaching…  these are but a few fields you can learn so much about!

So get excited about learning and never
stop…

3/ Having great empathic skills

A great instructor has the capacity to truly listen/ see / feel the needs of his students. It is so much more than just teaching a class. Question? Of how many students do you know the first name? I read another blog here about this topic, and yes it is not to be forgotten: know your students by name! And that is the start. Try to find out what makes them come to Spinning® classes. If you know their purpose for coming, you can become an ally in their search for achievement of that goal. Sometimes you just need to take a moment to listen indeed. (note: know the limits of your competence levels, we are not psychologists, so we can be there with a friendly ear, but you have to know the boundaries of that!)

4/ Being a leader and Role Model


If you are there consistently for your sudents (see point 1 above), and you are into constant learning (see point 2 above), and you also are full of empathy towards your students (see point 3 above), then you have truly got a lot going for yourself as an instructor. Now, as a Spinning® instructor it makes sense that you have to have a certain degree of mastery both of the body and the mind. Part of that is of course your riding skills but it is a lot more than that. The phrase that always comes to my mind is ‘walk your talk’ as an instructor. Make sure that you practise what you teach your students. This integrity will make you a natural leader and people will want to follow you as they have faith in what you have to offer them! Just a little side note: “a leader proposes, a dictator imposes”, make sure you always keep that in mind!

 

5/ Being a great Communicator

Communication is such a vast field of course. From the moment you walk in the club till the moment you leave, you are communicating verbally and non verbally with everybody! In short, you need to be able to express yourself so precisely in the studio that you can create a rich environment that offers challenge, relaxation and direction to your participants. Verbal communication is often overrated in this context. It is said that 7% of your communication is words, your non verbal communication is far more influential on how people will feel in your classes.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is
to be aware of how you are perceived by your participants. And again, i cannot repeat often enough either that this is a field you want to invest a lot of time in. Especially with the Body & Mind connection we are so fond of in Spinning®, you need a vast verbal Kingdom to have your students experience all sorts of emotions.

So maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. I’d
be very happy to read your feedback!

Peter

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