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Pink
03-29-2006, 10:17 AM
BrusselsSpin mentioned how Joey Adam's talked about how he discovered classical music during one of his rides. This got me thinking...

We all have tracks that come to mean a lot to us, mainly because we relate them to a personal experience. Do you ever share these feelings with your riders?

I rarely bring up personal stuff, which is very unlike me normally (I'm pretty much an open book usually) but the very few times I have, riders will come up and want to talk about things after class.

So how much do we share? Or do we keep it professional? I honestly don't know. My gut says it's a very, very fine line.

alexkaboom
03-29-2006, 10:36 AM
I talk about a few personal things during my rides, though I'm careful at selecting as everything I say in class has a purpose...

My idea is either to make fun of something I've done wrong (so they see that I'm as human as they are and therefore make mistakes too) or to encourage them to continue on the training path to achieve the results that I have...

I recently took the MDA Effective coaching home study and they encourage instructors to show a little of your personal side so students can make a real connection with you (the person) not with you (the instructor)... it's a way to build strong relationships.

I would caution though that you may want to keep the personal comments light and certainly not discuss anything you don't feel comfortable sharing with the group... after all, they are trying to take time for themselves, the last thing we want to do is bore them with delicate issues.

If they want to talk to you after class, that is sign that you have made a connection, you can talk to them without giving any more information away... just don't give the impression that you are a psychotherapist!!;)

What I could say: My cat slept next to me all night, I couldn't sleep well and feel sluggish today... look at my heart rate (explain that sometimes is ok to fall to the back of the pack and just pedal along if you feel less than 100%)

What I would not say: My best friend is battlelling a terminal desease and cannot ride for long distances anymore. (I would never discuss anything like that about me or anyone I know.)

It is indeed a fine line
Alex

han-grrl
03-29-2006, 10:48 AM
I work as a trainer as well as an instructor, and I feel that i need to "draw the line" between participants/clients and myself. Otherwise, people become "your friends" and then, when policies need to be applied, it becomes awkward (for example if a client needs to pay for sessions). There is also "the free advice thing". There are some general questions that you can answer, but then some people want the "how should i train for this" answer. I pay a lot of money for courses and workshops to be able to answer that question, and when people consider themselves your friend, they expect that answer for free.

Maybe that sounds a little greedy, i don't know, but that is what i have gone to school for, got my certifications for etc...this is my JOB. And sometimes people have a hard time respecting that or taking it seriously once they are your friend.

My two cents

Han

JFK
03-29-2006, 01:46 PM
Han,

You bring up an important point. People don't ask doctors or accountants or lawyers (usually) for free advice, there is an understanding that they are professionals. The fitness industry is in the process of growing up and professionalizing, but it's happening in fits and starts.

I do think it's important to be human and to try to defuse intimidation. However, it's also important to maintain professionalism and make it clear that while we love what we do, we also need to eat. :)

veespin
03-29-2006, 04:37 PM
So how much do we share? Or do we keep it professional? I honestly don't know. My gut says it's a very, very fine line.

If it's any help, I "shared" my upcoming colonoscopy with a couple of classes this week.

Vivienne

veespin
03-29-2006, 05:11 PM
People don't ask doctors or accountants or lawyers (usually) for free advice, there is an understanding that they are professionals.

I think you'll find that this isn't true.

Certainly for physicians (and dentists), folk buttonhole them quite blatently all the time for free advice, second opinions....even the odd prescription to save them the "bother" of a doctor's visit. And that doesn't include the rubber checks and unpaid bills that mount up when services are provided in good faith and billed for after the fact.

Generally, folk underappreciate what I call "cognitive" skills....an answer to a "simple" question as far as the person asking it is concerned but from the other perspective, something that requires a certain amount of information gathering and processing before any meaningful advice can be given.

I'm enthusiastic enough about both my careers to be happy to part with free "general" advice (brush and floss daily/eat less exercise more etc.) but I've come to realise that taking altruism too far rarely has any rewards.....yes, I know altruism is supposed to be its own reward but I do like to see some attempt to follow my advice if I've taken the trouble to give it thoughtfully and that rarely happens when it's handed out for free.

Vivienne

kszspin
03-29-2006, 05:59 PM
On occasion I have mentioned to some people about my "fat" years in the mid 80's! Not during a ride though, only one to one or in small groups, and it usually comes up in the response to a statement like, "you're so fit, blah blah blah", implying that I can't empathize with being overweight, so I say..."whoa hold on...let me tell ya about my weight battle..."

han-grrl
03-29-2006, 08:41 PM
A simple question, yes I will answer, "how many calories do i burn in a spin class", what muscles am i working during a squat?

but i have been asked about full training plans before as in "what should i do to train for a specific event", or "what can i do to strengthen my core? "

both of these are not simple answers, and both would require more information from the client in order to be effective (ie health status, injuries, experience, goals etc etc). and again, this is what i get paid for.

A colleague of mine gets verry personal with her clients, to point where she was telling them of her financial problems. She goes for coffee and lunch with a lot of them, and always has trouble actually collecting money for her training services, because she feels its so awkward to ask someone who she considers a friend.

here's another situation, several of my friends (ie friends before i was a trainer/instructor) like to come to my spin classes, and because they are my friends, they like to be smart a$$ at times, or be disuptive. It can be annoying and well embarassing.

Lots to think about

H









Generally, folk underappreciate what I call "cognitive" skills....an answer to a "simple" question as far as the person asking it is concerned but from the other perspective, something that requires a certain amount of information gathering and processing before any meaningful advice can be given.
Vivienne