Coaching off the Bike was a workshop I recently taught at the Mind Body FitPro conference. I was inspired to create the workshop because I have always thought it to be important to get off the bike for at least part of every class and that it is an option to teach the entire class from the floor. The Spinning® program promotes the idea of being a coach because it enables you (the instructor) to give better feedback, allows for classroom management and keeps your focus on the participants rather than on your own workout.
The following are some tips to make coaching on the floor seem a natural part of your class.
1. Let your participants know you will be off the bike to coach on the floor during a particular part of the class and what the purpose is (form check, hand position check, individually timed drills, heart rate check).
2. Be prepared with your profile on a clip board, clock or stop watch, metronome, whistle, and know your music well, so you can use it to cue the riders since you won't be on the bike to show them when to sit or stand, pick up the cadence or slow it down. Think of the tools of the trade and use them.
3. Be prepared to be as energetic on the floor as you are on the bike. Move around, smile, engage people. Make being on the floor exciting and meaningful.
After teaching on the floor, I have often noted that students ask questions about technique or about where they might feel discomfort. These are opportunities for me to give better service to my customers and it builds trust when they know I am available to help them.
If you are not used to getting off the bike, start with one song each class and see how that works. One day, you may need or want to teach entirely on the floor and you should have that option.