I had a conversation with a member the other day between my class and the one he was about to take. He is a regular racer and trains quite regularly outside as well as taking a couple of Spinning® classes each week. If you ever saw him ride, you would be amazed at how smooth he is on the bike. His pedal stroke is amazing and you can tell it comes from years of experience pedaling a bike. He sometimes works at a different pace than the class since he has his own training schedule to keep, but always does the movements the coach recommends. He is an incredible person.
During our discussion, he mentioned that one of the instructors at our club told him that he must be hard of hearing since he was working at an effort that wasn?t appropriate for the class. In fact, the instructor stood in front of his bike and said, ?Hey everybody. Look at this guy. You don?t want to ride like he does because he is working way too hard for this segment of the class.? My first thought was, ?Who does she think she is?? but with much worse language. So I wonder, how many other students she chastises in class. Would you want someone to point out you during class as a bad example?
When we coach our students, we need to learn a little about each one of them. In this case, the instructor didn?t have a clue as to why this member was training at a slightly higher intensity. There was a purpose to his elevated intensity. It just so happened that that day was one of his hard days and the weather was bad outside so his next best alternative was to take a Spinning® class.
As an instructor, we need to know when to coach our riders. Remember, we are there to coach to the average rider and give modifications to those that can or need to work harder. We also need to give people permission to work easier if they need to or if that is what is on their training plan for the day. We facilitate the class and must allow our students to ride their ride. Remember, it is up to them to determine what is best for them. Yes, we need to encourage people to challenge themselves, but we also need to recognize when people need to work at a rate different than the one we prescribe for our class.
Let them ride their ride. As long as they ride with proper form, resistance and safety, then we should be glad to have them in our class.
blog by Ralph Mlady for community.spinning.com 05/31/2011
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