For Instructors

If coaching were your diet...

After last weeks' great post about the 5 characteristics of a good coach, I got to thinking about the different flavors of my own coaching.  I know I've had better classes and classes where I felt like it was all I could do to just get through the class with fluff and stuff.  I am not sure why sometimes things come together and why sometimes I am just not "on." - This is painfully honest of me, eh?  I guess we should paint ourselves as being "practically perfect in every way," but I started thinking about my coaching in terms of diet.

The quick fix "sugar" coaching is that go-to junk that we can easily turn to, satisfying the most basic of energy needs in a class.  "sugar" coaching is ready made fluff that doesn't translate into a whole lot of meaning for the people in front of you.  "Nice big round circles..." is my absolute favorite - I mean I dislike it the most.  What does that mean when you tell someone to pedal in 'nice big round circles?' - the pedals will do nothing else but go in circles...and most circles are round...  'Breathe..." another funky coaching cue.  Who holds their breath in a cardio class?  Power lifting, yah.  Yoga, okay...people do forget to breathe...but you can't NOT breathe in a Spinning® class.  "Let's go..."  "C'mon..."  "harder, faster, stronger..."  There is a time and a place for sugar, but it hopefully doesn't constitute the bulk of your coaching diet.

Fat.  Again - there is a time and a place for fat, but here are some examples of fat in coaching.  "Remember where you were when you heard this song?"  "I wanted to tell you about how I felt when I was just about to cross the finish line in my race last month..."  "Ride like you want to piss that (chick) off!"  (yes, I've heard it...but he didn't say chick...)  Why is this fat?  These are examples of how to ask someone to work based on emotion and other external cues - like how you felt when you were on the high school track team, how you might imagine me, the coach, feeling in competition and with fury because someone makes you angry.  Sure...this sort of coaching can fuel you and even sustain you like fat in the diet...fat is good for the brain...and the brain thinks...but there is real value to releasing the brain from any active duties during Spinning® class.


Fiber - Well, we all know what fiber does for you...Fiber makes you regular, right?  So, how do we do that in our coaching?  "This is you against you..."  "Drop any expectations you had for today and just see what happens..."  "Knowing how you feel right now, did you come to class nourished, hydrated and rested enough?..."  This sort of coaching - questioning, even - sets clients up for habituating their Spinning®... encouraging people to come earlier next class to get a proper fitting to the bike, or to stay a little longer to discuss what they actually saw on their heart rate monitors encourages regular returns...

Protein.  Ah...the meat (or the non-animal protein source?).  Protein fixes, heals, fuels, grows... How does your coaching encourage people to get stronger?  Do you ever ask your clients to explore higher resistance and sustain it a little longer even through the fatigue?  Do you ever suggest that your participants observe their cadence and breath - not to change anything about it, but to just fully tap into how their effort affects their effort?  Do you just give space - extended periods of non interferance from you, the instructor on the mic - so your clients can pump themselves up?


I've not included vitamins, minerals or, for that matter alcohol...but I'm sure I could....  It was just a whimsical thought carried on by the other post on coaching....  


May your coaching be as balanced, organic and pure as your diet should be... 




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