DO YOU WANT TO TEACH A PILATES CLASS OR DO YOU WANT TO TEACH A GREAT PILATES CLASS?
Here are my top 10 tips for teaching great Pilates classes…
① Meet & Greet ❏Know your class participants’ names and make it your aim at every class to find something out about their lives ❏Always ask how their bodies are today — this gives new participants an opportunity to speak up, regular participants to say if they have overdone it, this gives the teacher a heads up about modifying or adapting certain exercises ❏Build the bond between the teacher and the participants ❏Create a feeling of attentiveness and professionalism that you know what you are talking about and demonstrates an outstanding level of care.
② Compliment vs Correction ❏Remember that in a group class there are different levels of emotion and personalities to deal with ❏Aim for a balance ❏Observe the participants and their reactions to determine whether or not to increase the challenge or tone it down ❏Quickly swap a correction for a compliment or the other way round ❏Aim to motivate clients and inspire them to do the exercise properly, but not to embarrass them if they can’t ❏Use positive language to create a deeper rapport to strengthen the participant/teacher relationship. ③ Breathe and get a ‘Pilates Check In’ ❏Offer some 1:1 time for a free 30 minute check in to help with any exercises, challenges or specific issues ❏If 1:1 is what you want to offer as a teacher then this is a way of introducing a more bespoke element to your teaching, and make your participants aware of this opportunity.
④ Remember Your First Time in a Class ❏Attend other classes if possible to tune into your participants’ perspectives of attending a class - feel what they feel, see what they see, hear what they hear. ⑤ Considerations for your Participants ❏Remember that not everyone loves to exercise, so lighten the mood, add personality, share your humour ❏Aim to create a comforting, welcoming atmosphere ❏Focus on making the workout and your teaching fun ❏Share your passion. ⑥ Cueing is Essential ❏Remember that different personalities respond to different cues, use visual and verbal ❏Use body language, imagery and touch to help build participants’ body awareness ❏Give lots of different cues to meet the needs of the group. ⑦ Remember to teach the whole group ❏In a group class progress is often slower than 1:1 and will be different for every individual in the group so be flexible with your plan ❏Demonstrate different levels appropriate to the group ❏Give your participants permission to try an exercise at a different level that will be more helpful to them ❏Always have modifications/adaptations/progressions in your head in preparation to enable full participation ❏Give as much instruction as possible to the general group, avoid closing in on one person, while touching, making eye contact with or creating a visual for the individual participant who may need more assistance. ⑧ Group vs 1:1 ❏Group classes will not always be appropriate for everyone, so don’t hesitate to suggest to some participants that they may be more successful or safer in a 1:1 session where their individual needs can be addressed ❏The same applies to 1:1 participants, they may reach a point where a group class would be more appropriate for what they want to achieve, so do not hesitate to guide them into a group class when the time is ready. ⑨ Knowing your Group ❏Develop familiarity with your class participants and get to know which members you can single out as performing with good technique ❏Encourage participants to speak up in class when they need extra assistance ❏Discourage competition and encourage to focus on self ❏Discourage copy-cats, encourage participants not to copy what their neighbour might be doing as it could be wrong or specific to their individual needs. ⑩ Me Time! ❏Take action to protect from BURNOUT! to serve our participants well we have to be at our best ❏In order to be the best we can be, we have to take care of our own bodies and brains ❏Make ‘me’ time a priority for mental, physical and psychological well-being.
Written by: Jane M Thomas of Jane Thomas Pilates, as featured on the BBC.
First Class Pilates — Pilates Done Right!
First Class Pilates — 9 Great Central Road — Loughborough — LE11 1RW
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