When I first starting with Spinning back in 1995, everyone believed that instructors had to be outdoor riders in order to understand all of the concepts. I started riding a lot outside at that time. First it was mountain biking and then on to road cycling. At first, it did add to my vocabulary and the experiences enhanced my views of flats and hills.
As the years have passed, I don’t see outdoor riding as a critical element to being a good instructor. There are so many skills that go into presenting a class that have nothing to do with riding outdoors. To be honest, when a person tells me that their instructor is great because he/she is a cyclist, I offer an uncommitted response.
Here is my list of critical skills that help make an instructor great:
1: Organization: A good instructor has everything ready to go when class begins. Their playlist is prepared. Their objectives for the session are clear and their profile design reflects it. They are on time and available for the students (they are not rushing around just prior to class making sure that they have all of their materials).
2: Clarity: A good instructor has a clear view of what they are there to provide the students. They use verbal prompts and visual cues that allow everyone to access the training session at their own level. A good instructor knows what their role is. They can be a coach, a friend, a parent, a motivational speaker, or a therapist………….but they should be just one of them.
3: Availability: A good leader is available to everyone they are leading. They are both visually present (as much as possible) and vocally positive enough to make the class about those in attendance instead of themselves. A good training session is not a show, a lecture, or a life-changing experience (It is a Spinning class. A hill is a hill, not a representation of life’s great challenges). Have fun, be safe, feel better, and take another step toward good health.