A common query that I get from Spinning® instructors is, "How do I get people to actually listen to what I'm saying?" Sometimes it can seem that we are giving great advice and no one is picking up on it. Whether it's advising a rider to increase their gear, slow down their cadence or simply to release the tension in their shoulders, they just don't seem to be able to hear what we are saying.
Over the years, I have learnt that the first person you have to look at when it comes to coaching, is yourself. They can hear you, it's just that they don't understand what you're saying. We have to find different ways
to deliver the same message to be fully understood.
Knowing the varying learning styles, will equip you to help your riders become more skilled.
Visual Learners: They find it easy to visualise when you ask them to picture something in their minds eye. Use words and phrases like, "see the hill", "focus on the road", "float", "drive", "victory is yours." They like to see the instructor on the bike and respond well to a road map that you might put up in front of the class to show them what's coming their way. Visual learners like time to explore their rhythm, so a longer duration in the same position suits them well.
Auditory Learners: They like to hear what you have to say and will find it frustrating if they can't hear you. Make sure your microphone is at the right volume and your music is not too loud. Use phrases like, "tell yourself you will make it", " listen to the hill, what is it telling you", "how many pedal strokes for every breath in." They like to memorise through steps and systems, so respond well to loops, jumps and ladders. Auditory learners respond extremely well to individual coaching, so get off the bike and get personal with them - they like to be told.
Kinetic Learners: They respond to emotions. Use words and phrases like, "feel the hill under your legs", "absorb the road", "smooth", "strong", "touch." They respond well to the power of suggestion and personal motivation, but need to feel a safe environment to do that in. Allowing kinetic learners to choose their own riding position, (within the Spinning® protocol), will empower them to memorise through movement.
As we often don't know our students well enough to know which kind of learner they are, it's important to remember that you will have all three with you on your road. Embrace them all - they are the reason you will become a better coach.
Check out Creative Coaching and Spinning
Language and Visualization to help you further your skills as a coach and earn yourself 6 STAR points for each workshop you attend.