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View Full Version : First Time Instructor Countdown! Advice Needed!



Mishcyclle
12-18-2013, 12:54 PM
I will be a first time instructor in exactly one month! I have taken some cycling classes in the past and know what has given me a good workout. I will be getting certified in Spin the week prior to teaching my first class ever.

Basically, I want to be the best I can possibly be for my participants! Cycling is my passion and I want to share it with everyone. But I've never taught so what sorts of things would you recommend I do in the month leading up?
I have ideas for ways to make my class exciting. I have been picking out music and creating playlists. I have also been practicing a few workouts I found and talking through them.

I want to do more! Give me your advice!

Thanks!

groupfitpower
12-18-2013, 01:44 PM
Wow! This is all great, and you are already on your way to being the very best you can be.

What else can you do? Here are a few ideas:

- Take a class with a Master Instructor. Where are you located? We can help you find the Spinning® MI in your area.
- Read (a) book(s) about cycling. Joe Friel's Cyclists Bible perhaps.
- Pick the brain of your favorite teacher. Take him/her out for coffee and ask him/her what they wish they'd known sooner. Take notes.
- Read a book about performance. Finding Your Zone: Ten Core Lessons for Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life is on my wish list.

And don't forget, keep sharing here! ;-)

SpinBob
12-19-2013, 09:54 PM
Go to as many classes with as many different instructors as you can.
Note what you like and dislike about every class.
Learning what you dislike is just as important learning what you like.

Remember that you will rarely please everyone who comes to your classes.

laurenr
12-23-2013, 02:05 PM
Congratulations!

Attend all the classes you can; cycling classes are great, but any format can be helpful. Pay attention to the types of cues the instructor gives, the tone of voice, when they're given, etc. Figuring out how/when to talk was the most difficult thing for me as a new instructor. I'm comfortable in front of people and knew what I wanted to convey, but conveying it in a engaging manner that appealed and motivated everyone in my classes was challenging. There's a lot that still goes through my head during every class even after years of teaching: when should I talk? Am I talking too much? Remaining monotone is making me sound slightly creepy, but is raising my voice during this sprint motivating or annoying? How do I better describe the fact that the lady in the back row needs to add more resistance during this sprint? Talking through workouts is a really fantastic start, and when I found myself struggling, pulling from my experience with the flow of cues from different instructors helped me find my voice.

Check with the policies of your facility, but when I first began teaching, I asked instructors to allow me to teach their class while they audited. I asked them for constructive criticism. It helped tremendously to have somebody riding along who knew what to watch for and how to give me pointed direction on where to improve.

Bottom line - you're obviously passionate, informed, and eager. Your participants will love you! :)

trekgirl
12-31-2013, 04:16 PM
Great advice here for you - wish I had been so wisely proactive before my first class! I'm relatively new still, but one piece of advice another instructor gave me that I've tried to keep in mind every class is about cueing: "Be precise, and be concise."

Also (from my husband, who took an early class I taught) "Don't talk unless you have something to communicate." Others may disagree - and if you are a chatty person, it probably wouldn't suit your style to stifle that -- but I think there's value to "less is more."

Best of luck! Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

Cheeze
01-04-2014, 08:46 PM
I don't know if there is still time to Reply but here goes. In this case I would not put the cart ahead of the horse. Love your enthusiasm but I recommend you wait patiently until your Orientation. (Review your manual if you get it prior to class) MDA has a lot of highly skilled presenters and I'm sure that during your orientation the world of Spinning will open up to you. During your orientation you'll learn the basics (bike set-up; Energy Zones; profiling; music; HR training and lots of stuff). And to be honest - to a totally new instructor this in itself can be enough to cut your teeth on during your first couple of months. As time allows study your orientation presenter on how they communicate with their class. During the breaks ask them why they do what they do. I've never met a presenter who is not willing to talk Spinning.

Upon completion of your orientation I would take as many classes as you can so you can see how the stuff you were taught in orientation is put into practice. During this time see if any or all of your soon to be colleagues will mentor you. I also suggest you create your first profile about a week before class. Then ride it by yourself to see if it flows the way you want. Then I would present it to a few of your friends to get some experience in front of people. Allow these folks be constructive. Allow yourself to laugh as you learn - but learn from your mistakes. After a couple of classes (and after thing settle down a bit) you'll become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can get back to us so we can help you with your weaknesses.

Baby steps and keeping it simple now builds a strong foundation for later. Being humble now builds confidence later. Be patient as you develop your own style. Don't try to do it all in the first month. And by all means never get rid of your first profile and music - because it's so much fun to go back and see how far you've come.

Congratulations and welcome.

My Slice Of Cheeze

kickerjoy
01-05-2014, 06:25 AM
What everyone else said so well.
And what I did before my first few classes, was plug my playlist/profile into my car stereo and verbally practice my rides. It's a bit overwhelming to be up there on the instructor bike in the beginning, and you might want to just listen to yourself talking in this whole new way, and think about how you want to say things to get your message across. The pressure is much lower when the audience is just you!
And yes, taking other instructor's classes, going to continuing ed workshops and conferences has been invaluable in helping me find my voice. What makes sense to me, I adapt to fit my classes needs and my teaching style. What doesn't, I question, and often learn even more. Or at least know better what not to do.
Let us know how things are going!

SophieCycles
01-09-2014, 07:36 AM
Perhaps, you've already been certified by the time I'm writing this, so a huge congratulations if that's the case. Your enthusiasm comes across so evidently in your message. I'm sure your classes will see that and that's already a big part of what will make you successful. As the others have advised, I go to as many classes as I can at different facilities in my home city and also while I'm travelling. As SpinBob has noted, I think about what I like and dislike. But, I also go to stay in touch with where the participants are coming from. I always will recall the time I was on a bike next to a person who didn't know I was an instructor, and she told me it took everything for her to get to class that day. That comment reminded me that not everyone loves fitness or cycling - how is that possible :) - but she came to class. That comment and others I've heard over the years motivates me to make my best effort to prepare for class and to give people a great experience when they come. Of course, a great experience is subjective but I try my best to plan out my music and routine, to be enthusiastic (even if I'm tired), and to cue technique/form but also provide motivational cueing. All the best in your instructor journey!

Mishcyclle
02-07-2014, 06:16 PM
Hey guys! Just wanted to update. I've been teaching for a month now. Even though I can't get the direct mentorship I would like, this forum and the spotify playlists have been invaluable!!! Today I gave a fantastic class and I really do attribute a lot of it to the things I've learned on here in such a short time. I'm cross posting this to another post where I was seeking advice!

Thanks again!

rowem
03-27-2014, 09:03 AM
I will be teaching my first class next week, thank you for posting all of your advice, this helps!

Bob_Silver
10-02-2014, 03:16 PM
Have fun, smile a lot and make eye contact with everyone at least once during the class. The more you seem to be enjoying yourself, the more the class will enjoy it!