Instead of Spinning® the wheels in your head on what to do about the Spin® students that either talk, check their cell phones, or plug in their own playlist through ear buds during class, teach these students along with others a very valuable lesson or two. Teach them that the one hour that they get on their Spin® bike and begin pedaling to your instruction is the one hour that they get to be all about themselves. That is, they get to feel their bodies go through a spiritual, physical and emotional transformation in this short period of time. If the student is disengaged with some external distraction, then they can never truly reach a place of self embodiment. This is a shame. So, rather than getting mad, teach them the essence of why they are there to begin with. Give these students a higher value in your class so that they can truly dive into the journey with all the others around them.
Spin teachers are leaders. It is up to the leaders to teach, not judge. With that said, here are some viable solutions to some common problems:
1) Rudeness: Student comes in with headphones on, plops on the bike and rides off into his/her own world.
Solution: Ask the student to share his/her music with the class since it appears to be better than the playlist you created. Be fun about this. Most likely they will remove their ear buds. If they don’t, then tell them to consider going into the cardiovascular room since the room they are in is strictly group training that requires synergy, cohesion and shared love!
2) Rudeness: Two students decide to treat the class like a happy hour and won’t stop talking.
Solution: Stop the music and tell the class that you LOVE hearing moments of truth of people’s day. I talk about Moments of Truth under tool #17 in Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools. Turn to the two students and say, “You two are apparently sharing some great information with one another. Because this is a group training session, it is important to include us all in your conversation if you wish to continue it. We all look forward to hearing your moment of truth.” This usually stops the conversation or they share their thoughts..One time it turned out that the two girls didn’t know if they were properly set up on the bike. My stopping to tune into their convo actually spared them both from getting hurt cause I went to the back of the room and readjusted their bikes.
3) Rudeness: Student is checking his/her cell phone.
Solution: Always tell the class before you begin the class that you have a ZERO tolerance for cell phone usage. In this case, stop the music and ask the person what can be more important than themselves in this moment? Cell phones distract us from getting involved in our training which can impede progress in our cardiovascular improvement. Cell phones also cause our minds to race too, which is all the reason why we exercise-to release happy hormones if you will, thereby slowing down our day. We get to dissolve into a positive outlet-exercise! So, once you discover why they are on the phone, then go from there. Last night, a girl was on her phone and it turned out that her sister was having a baby! After turning the music off to ask her what she was doing, she gave me this answer. I heard a unison awwwwwww from the other students and it was a fabulous moment of truth! I asked the group if we should excuse her this time. The majority ruled yes! So I did, and wished her sister a very healthy delivery.
Every rude situation has a solution. Whether you are a student or a teacher, it is imperative that we all set up the ambiance and environment for a spiritual journey that Spinning® lends us. We can call it playing by the rules, or we can simply say that nothing else is more important than ourselves one hour a day! You deserve to just remove yourself from life for just an hour a day!