Just like in fitness, there aren’t shortcuts in teaching a superb class.
Being the best instructor you can be requires work and some days you might find you are in need of a little motivation yourself. We’re all human, after all!
You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup
To be a good teacher is to be a constant student as well; investing in yourself is investing in your clients and your class. Certifications can be expensive so if those aren’t in the budget right now, that’s completely understandable. Now might be a good time for you to take a workshop or a seminar instead.
You also have a really important free learning tool right at your fingertips: social media. You might think of social media as a marketing tool, but it’s also full of tons of information from other people in the fitness world. Set some time aside to look up some experts in the field. For example: if you’re looking to teach a more inclusive class, you might spend some time on Chrissy King’s Instagram page to find some upcoming seminars, free articles, thoughts, and other similar pages regarding inclusivity in fitness.
Be wary that you don’t go down the social media wormhole. Setting a timer will help keep you on track and keep yourself open to other people’s experiences in the field. Whose messages make you feel excited? How are their stories similar to your own journey as an instructor? What can you incorporate into your own practice?
Lean On Your Peers
Create your own time to talk about your classes with other instructors and get peer feedback seeing as we don’t have any crossover time between classes at a studio.
Set up a time to take a colleague’s class and have them take yours and discuss. You can also host a zoom hangout with a few other instructors where everyone brings a question they’ve had arise in class or an observation. Your community shouldn’t just be you and your clients, it can also include other instructors.
Be Available for Your Community
When you’re in class, your focus should be on your clients. Know and use everyone’s names (if you’re using Zoom or similar technology, you can confirm at the top of class that everyone’s names and pronouns are correct so you know how to refer to them) even if this is someone’s first time in your class.
You might want to follow up by email after someone takes your class for the first time or if you’ve noticed they’ve been consistently showing up. Feel free to personalize the message below.
Hi [Client’s Name],
Thank you so much for working out with me today! I really enjoyed having you as part of the group. Let me know if you have any feedback for me or if you have any specific fitness goals you’d like me to incorporate into class.
Looking forward to seeing you in class again soon!
You definitely shouldn’t be on call 24/7 for your clients or spend a lot of time crafting emails, but interacting outside of class is important and makes your clients feel valued. If you want, you can include a simple google form with some prompts for feedback!
Growth Won’t Happen Overnight - And That’s Okay!
As much as we would all love to wake up tomorrow and find ourselves able to lift one hundred more pounds than we previously could, we know that growth takes work. Consistency is key and if you work at connecting your community and deepening your skill and knowledge levels, you’ll find yourself on really solid ground to build a motivated, healthy community.