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View Full Version : surprised at how much participant enjoy the "personal" touch



Linda2005
06-06-2011, 07:19 AM
I have never really posted/shared any of my class ideas because I figure they aren't special and I am too shy....however a gal has gotta start somewhere.

I sometimes instruct seriously training classes (intervals, climbing drills etc..). However every so often I try to do a class with a theme related to a long time participant. Eg. a regular was pregnant, came to class through her entire pregnancy. Towards the end of her pregnancy I decorated the spin room with pink/blue streamers and played songs with "baby" in the title of the song. The class loves this, and creates a community feel in the room.

toffy
06-06-2011, 06:14 PM
Well done.... it's a good idea!!

stephars
06-06-2011, 09:35 PM
such a great idea!

Vivienne
06-07-2011, 08:12 AM
Just as an FYI.....this is called "Ritz Carlton Service"

Apparently, the Ritz Carlton chain has a philosophy that every customer should be made to feel important by every Ritz Carlton employee.....and Ritz Carlton employees are empowered to do just that. Don't know why I say "apparently" because I've actualy stayed at a Ritz Carlton and can attest to this.

Truth be told everyone wants to feel like they're recognised and important in some way or other.....even in a group ex. class. I can attest to this also......and I consider myself to generally be one of those "sit in the corner" people as a rule.

Years ago, once I'd started picking up every sub. gig that I could after my certification course, I wasn't able to make my regular Spinning class with my fave instructor. I made it to class one Saturday am....did the meet and greet thing with a few other regulars/Old Lags and settled in to being a sit in the corner sort of person. Teacher just happened to eyeball me, startd to fumble around with his CD collection and, lo......class started to what I recognised as one of my fave playlists. Not necessarily what I'd choose for my own classes but in that particular venue a compilation of Traffic/"Little" Stevie Winwood (yes he was.....back in the day when I was actually younger than him), Kinks and The Skorpions that suited me fine but, more importantly, teacher perceived would make me happy. A nice acknowledgement.

There was nothing else that'd draw attention to me.....thank gawd.....but teacher gave me a wink and I can tell you, Ritz Carlton Service didn't even begin to describe how good this made me feel.

I've had this sort of connection in classes or with individual class members in the past, but I'm struggling to find it up in this neck of the woods, Bill's "Scaling The Tallest Peaks ...." ride notwithstanding!!!

Vivienne

P. S......did a workshop at one of my new gigs a few months ago and the instructor had a playlist where she handed out candies for the first correct guess of performing artist. Within seconds of "Gimme Some Lovin'" I piped up with Spencer Davis.....with Little Stevie Winwood (that's how they were billed back then) Got me 2 candies.....as the very first person to get Spencer Davis right! (prolly didn't even get the Little Stevie Winwood thing, given her age!) Did another....but non IDC.....workshop with this presenter a month or so later and she remembered me as the only person to ever get Spencer Davis. Ritz Carlton Service!!!

Kellyanngray
06-10-2011, 02:33 PM
I totally agree that having a personal touch makes all the difference in turning just exercising into an experience you want to repeat. You deserve major kudos for going above and beyond. I thought knowing all my bikers by name was a good personal touch.:D

Courtneyleigh
06-12-2011, 04:03 PM
It's funny that you bring this topic up because I just presented one week ago at Fitness Fever, a conference for YMCA Instructors and my workshop was called Making the Connection. I have been teaching for about 5 years now and my classes have been growing and growing and how I teach has changed drastically. I gave my class a survey to see what it is I am doing that they are enjoying and of the most common responses was my connection to them. My classes use to be so rote and boring and predictable and now they are ever changing. Here are some of the tips that I suggested at my workshop on how you can connect to your participants;


Introduce Yourself- let them get to know you
Introduce your Participants- you will see a community formed within your class.
Arrive Early/Stay Late- this helps to answer any questions/concerns your participants might have.
Spice it Up- Keep your participants wanting more by changing up your music, profiles, set up and by offering specialty classes(themed classes, etc)

Lisa
06-14-2011, 11:26 AM
Courtney, #3 is so important and I'm glad you mentioned it.
So many instructors show up one minute before class starts and just plug in the Ipod and go. The nice touch is when an instructor is in the room when the members arrive to greet and chat before class. There is one instructor at our gym who makes a point to stand by the door as the members are leaving the room and thanks them for coming.

Vivienne
06-14-2011, 12:16 PM
Courtney, #3 is so important and I'm glad you mentioned it.
So many instructors show up one minute before class starts and just plug in the Ipod and go. The nice touch is when an instructor is in the room when the members arrive to greet and chat before class. There is one instructor at our gym who makes a point to stand by the door as the members are leaving the room and thanks them for coming.


I'll say.

I fancy that at least 50% of my issues at my "Keiser" gym are due to the fact that my class is squeezed between two others and set-up is a quick scramble and likewise the end of class.

The handful of members who I get to interact with in, say, the locker room or the parking lot on the way out are the ones who seem to "get" my teaching style (at least, I hope the anonymous negative comments aren't coming from them) and the rest.....meh

I'm so not a last minute seat of the pants person that, even though I know I won't be able to get into the aerobics room more than 2 or 3 minutes before class starts, I'm such a creature of habit (never ever taught at a gym without a dedicated cycle studio before this gig) that I still arrive about 15 mins or so early.

Don't get me wrong.....I'd actually like to be able to arrive with seconds to spare, plug in the ipod and go should I need to (well, yeah...I do need to right now) I just don't care to. I actually like to interact with class members and foster a sort of *team* mentality, make newcomers feel welcome etc. The only way to get me to do anything other than that is to either provide me with an embarrassingly generous compensation package.....or have bikes with power meters.

Vivienne

toffy
06-15-2011, 06:49 PM
Courtney, #3 is so important and I'm glad you mentioned it.
So many instructors show up one minute before class starts and just plug in the Ipod and go. The nice touch is when an instructor is in the room when the members arrive to greet and chat before class. There is one instructor at our gym who makes a point to stand by the door as the members are leaving the room and thanks them for coming.

I always stand at the room door at the end of the class and I hi5 each of my students, one by one, as they are leaving the room.

mgiles
06-15-2011, 11:58 PM
Great ideas!

fatboy
09-02-2011, 10:36 PM
Good ideas, I always stay late after class. I teach a class right before spin so I only have ten minutes to set up and get the music going etc. I teach at the Y so I have pretty much the same people each class, I know all of them by name and try to remember when thier brithdays are. I try to connect with them about other things outside of the spin room like thier kids, jobs recent vacations and stuff like that. I must be doing something right since there is always a waiting list to get in. I just try to keep it new and fun.

Robyn0910
09-03-2011, 10:15 PM
I do cupcakes! Yup, I said cupcakes....it all started about 2 years ago when one of my riders had his 80th (yes 80th) birthday! God bless him, if he can spin at 80 he deserves a cupcake!!:o Apparently, I do great cupcakes, and I was told of several upcoming bdays the following class! From then on we celebrate Bdays once a month with cupcake day, even adding the bday hats on occasion (though they tend to end up sweaty and limp by the end of ckass). It's always a fun class knowing that a cupcake is waiting for you at the end. Hard work has it's rewards, and sometimes it tastes good too!!

spinion
09-03-2011, 11:34 PM
These are some great ideas. I'm going to try standing at the exit.

toffy
09-04-2011, 07:36 AM
Students like to be close to us, like to be touched, like we speak with them, like we notice them, like we know them names, like to feel they aren't only a student...they like to feel they are THE student.... I always try to make my students feels they are special to me... (and they really are....)

Spinnyspinspin
01-11-2012, 02:06 PM
I was a student for about six months before I got certified, so it's been really interesting to be on the instructor's bike in front of a room full of people I used to spin with. It has definitely made the transition easier for me, because I already know everyone's names, their personalities, and their strengths/weaknesses, and it's been really nice to hear their feedback regarding my music choices, profiles, etc.

metamorphosis
01-18-2012, 05:11 PM
I was a student for about 4 years before I got certified and went into teaching Spinning (R), Cycle and other classes. I myself liked that personnel touch when I was a student. I liked it when an instructor recognized that I hadn't been to that particular class in a while and welcomed me back etc

I try to do the same now, address people by their names, have a quick chat when waiting outside the studio before classes, staying around after, always telling them that I am always open to their feedback; whatthey liked or didn't like. Sometimes il stick a blank sheet of paper to the wall and leave a marker and ask them to write some music suggestions.

Occasionally, especially after special themed rides or spinnathons il entice them by leaving a bag of sweets on the ground after class and tell them to have one. They always so 'i shouldn't, must be good', but they end up taking anyway ;)

After class when they are cooling down, if i have regulars, i will have a brief word bike by bike with them asking for feedback, how they got on, tell them they did a good job etc

I think it all helps, if you are a coach that trys, changes it up, and have a good rapport with people in class, they will come back