WSSC: A Beginner’s Survival Guide
you’ve decided that this year is going to be “The Year” you finally go
to the World Spinning & Sports Conference. In a burst of excitement
you register, select your sessions and book your flight and hotel room.
Then you start counting the days until it’s time to pack. For me, that
was last year, and I loved every minute of it. But my first WSSC was
not without setbacks, so allow me to share some tips to help you avoid
some of the rookie mistakes I made my first time.
a pre-planned budget. For me it works out to about $1,300 (in round
figures): $500 for the hotel for 3 nights, $300 for the conference,
$200 for airfare and $300 for food and miscellaneous. Before you leave
for Miami, check your bank’s web site to see if it has an ATM there. If
not, find out what your bank’s fee is to use another bank’s ATM, just
in case. The hotel has an ATM, and there is also a Wachovia ATM about a
block and a half away.
Session Planning I
over-ride! Balance your sessions between riding and not riding. Last
year I didn’t, and by Saturday I felt like I needed a wheelchair to get
around. We all love to ride, but don’t trivialize the importance
of lectures and other non-riding sessions–they are an essential source
of knowledge. If your focus is on riding, think of lectures as recovery
the intensity level of the rides you select. If the ride has a name
like Red Hot Mexican Ride or Team Time Trial, it’s a safe bet that the
intensity level is Race Day, or close to it. As a trained Spinning
instructor, you know you wouldn’t have two race days in one weekend.
Oh, did I mention don’t over-ride? I can’t stress this enough.
Session Planning II
and other non-riding sessions are a great way to improve your teaching
skills and make your classes better. But how do you choose among so
Think about how you put your classes together. What is
the hardest part for you? What aspect of class would you most like to
improve? There are lectures geared toward just about every aspect of
the Spinning program, from music to profile building, from the problem
student to the special needs student, and from pedal stroke to bike
mechanics. Look for the holes in your knowledge base and fill them. And
don’t forget to explore the Pilates, yoga and Resist-A-Ball® sessions.
These are all valuable opportunities to complement your Spinning
program, improving both your own personal fitness and your club’s group
Travel and Accommodations
can’t tell you how to get the cheapest flight to Miami, but you do have
some options for getting there. You can fly into either Miami or Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood International. Shuttles from either airport will
get you to downtown Miami directly.
At the Miami airport, SuperShuttle (www.supershuttle.com)
offers shared rides to downtown Miami for $13. Taxis are about $18. At
the Fort Lauderdale airport, the Tri-County Airport Express (www.floridalimo.com)
provides shared rides to downtown Miami for $18. Make a round-trip
reservation online before you leave. Though you don’t need a
reservation to get from the airport to your hotel, having one will cut
down on waiting time at the curb. You will need a reservation to get from your hotel to the airport.
guidebooks offering more advice on getting around Miami should be
available in the travel section of your local library or bookstore.
Additional resources include TripAdvisor.com, Travelocity.com and
Expedia.com as well as the City of Miami’s web site (www.miamigov.com/cms/Visitor.asp) and the Miami Visitors’ Bureau’s (www.gmcvb.com/.)
only for three days, so don’t over do it. Mostly, you’ll be in bike
pants and t-shirts but sweatshirts and sweatpants to throw on after
riding sessions are strongly recommended, as the hotel air conditioning
can be overwhelming. Bring a small backpack or gym bag to carry your
gear from session to session.
A power strip will come in handy
if you’ll have numerous electronic devices to charge during your trip.
Bring a notebook to take notes during lectures and to collect contact
information for all the new friends you’ll make.
If you are on
a budget, and who isn’t, buy your snacks (energy bars, rice cakes or
whatever) in advance and avoid the high prices at the gift shop and
mini-bar. And don’t forget your bathing suit for the pool and hot tubs.
At the Conference
with the Master Instructors–heck, buy one a drink! Spinning MIs are a
wealth of knowledge and they’d love to talk to you. They are interested
in feedback about their sessions, the conference, and the Spinning
program in general. They want to meet passionate instructors from
around the world who really drive the program forward, so don’t be
shy–take advantage of being in the same place as most of them!
new friends. Talk with your fellow instructors. You will find that you
can learn as much from other attendees as from the Master Instructors.
You may even find yourself helping less experienced instructors gain a
greater understanding of the Spinning program. Bring along a dozen
printouts of your favorite play lists or profiles and share them. Most
likely, you'll go home with a dozen new ones.
elevators are a bottleneck, especially between sessions. Rather than
trying to get back to your room, put some dry clothes and snacks in
your backpack or gym bag in the morning. And use the coffee maker in
your hotel room as opposed to waiting in line at the coffee shop or
restaurant. You'll save time and money.
feel free to e-mail me with any questions you might have, and if I
can’t answer it personally, I’ll try to track someone down who can. See
you in Miami!
Bob Rebach is a STAR 3 instructor at Bayshore Fitness in Hazlet, NJ. Email him at SpinBob@optonline.net.