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Teaching/Coaching Style

During the conference this year, I got a question about my teaching/coaching style. We all have one (of course) and this person asked me what mine was. My answer has been one that I've used over the past few years and it is borrowed from the great James Hetfield (lead singer of Metallica): Hit them hard, and hit them fast. He explains that people go to Metallica shows to feel a rush of powerful energy. The fans/participants want to engage in it immediately. If the band doesn't deliver it quick enough (when they play live), they might lose that positive connection with the audience and the experience will not be nearly as good as it should/could have been.

I encourage instructors to follow this philosophy when they are teaching their classes. I certainly don't encourage them to go high cadence and intense heart rate from the beginning, my advice is to engage and challenge each rider's level of focus (and attention) immediately. Get them into the rhythm of the initial road by starting with music that has a strong, consistent beat. Next, make them see (and attend to) their alignment the moment class begins. Prompt them visually with proper hand placement, soft elbows, forward vision (don't look at the bike, look at the road), and quiet hips. Enhance these visual cues with powerful (minimal length) reminders like: elbows, fingers, see the road, move across the bike, connect to your circles......etc

Once you guide them through a few additions of resistance, create an early transition. My preference is to stand students up within the first few minutes of class. I like to have them stand on a flat road for 5 to 10 seconds (per attempt) a couple of times very early in the warm up process. To me, it gets their attention and lets them know that the time for talking and/or drifting mentally, has passed. I need them to be here and to be alert. I like to create what I call a simple warm up split. It is simply a three step process consisting of: a slight addition of resistance, into a rhythmic seated flat (with clear rhythm release movement), and finishing with a short standing flat. To me, it is a good strategy for establishing a connection with your students because it makes them think about (and follow) short patterns. I try to approach every symbol in my class this way. Two step, three step, four step repetitive patterns...Hit them hard, hit them fast. Make them think, encourage them to follow......by constantly introducing new (fun) patterns. 

 

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