It is exciting to be blogging again after several months time off. My first few blogs will cover teaching points from my workshops at the Mind Body FitPro conference held on September 8/9.
Cueing movements and form during a ride is something we can all relate to, so I taught a workshop specifically on all the ways that we cue.
The first main aspect is that we are cueing non-verbally just as much as we are verbally. Non-verbal communication includes what we wear (both style and color), facial expressions, gestures, body positioning (how far or close we are to others), body posture and gait (how we walk the room) and even odors we emit (garlic breath, or sour sweat). We don't have to make a sound to communicate volumes. Remember that we have been communicating through observation since before we could form words. Our students will read these other signs before focusing on our words. It is natural to do so, therefore as coaches we can take advantage of that natural capacity and utilize those aspects to our best ability.
The second part of the session had to do with trying to cue in 5 syllables or less. During a ride, everyone is listening to music, fans, and the sound of the bikes being ridden. When instructors tell stories and put forth many more words than necessary, it all blends together and causes confusion. To offer crisp, clean cues in 5 words/syllables or less allows our voices to cut through the chaos and be heard; therefore only the most important ideas should be vocalized.
A couple of examples are: "shift up, stand up", or " hips brush the saddle." We should allow space between each word, and time between each idea cued which also helps our riders take the information in without us having to say it over and over. It also helps to not overwhelm them.
We all have our own styles of coaching, so there is something here for everyone to consider in terms of what we might try out in the next class we teach.