Plant the seed

I love finding out how people decided to work in the fitness industry, especially regarding group fitness. The initial thought that created a desire that then came to full fruition. That first ‘why not’ as Lisa Westlake so eloquently spoke about at the Women in Leadership lunch at the recent NZ FITEX conference, that then resulted in a fulfilling career in group exercise instruction.

Most stories do start with a similar beginning as has mine. It begins with someone passionate about attending classes, enjoying the atmosphere and workout, and appreciating specific instructors hat had the ability to inspire and connect with their participants. Those special instructors became role models, doing their thing, smiling and empowering their class. The next part of the story is the most significant part – the admired instructor approached the member and said the magic words “Have you considered becoming an instructor? I think that you would be great.” From this point on, the seed is planted and universe appears to put places, people and courses in full view. A cascade of ‘right place, right time’ opportunities open up and away they go to becoming a group fitness instructor.

Currently there is a chronic skills shortage of group exercise instructors in Australia and I believe that as an industry we have to tap people on the shoulder and say the magic words. This is all it takes to inspire people to plant their career from the thought seed that we have planted. My Group Move has created an opportunity for potential instructors to get information about what it takes to be involved in the group fitness industry. Check out the link and plant the seed in someone this week

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Be your own best mentor

Over the past 4 years I have been delivering a workshop with Maria Teresa Stone, in which the instructors are filmed moving in the water and then again on land, teaching the same move. I had initially tried this myself as a way to understand the visual effect when performed at the level that I intended. This was an effective way to know what intensity looked like when teaching from the deck.
This has completely changed the way I verbally cue exercises and how I demonstrate them. It has also been enlightening for the instructors whom attended this workshop. (more…)

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Can you remember a name?

The most challenging group fitness skill ever

Do you use this excuse often? ‘I can never remember people’s names’.
It is understandable in most situations, that remembering 10 to 50 people’s names would be difficult, but when participants have been attending your class for over 12 months, this is unacceptable. Worse yet, when the participant has been an active attendee for several years. Yep, it really is a poor excuse. Something that really changed my perspective on this and maybe it will for you too comes from the goodmenproject.com:
The first time you meet someone and ask their name it’s a test. When given a person’s name they have given you permission to think of them as an individual, as someone different from a random stranger.
Their test is this – are they special enough to remember the next time you meet them. When you say someone’s name the next time you greet them you have told that person they were important enough to remember, they were special enough for you to take note of them.
I can almost guarantee you have just made an acquaintance with the possibility of a more meaningful relationship in the future, whether it be business, friendship or relationship.
Unless you act in a negative manner you will now always be associated in that persons memory as someone who took the time to remember who they were.

(more…)

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Is freestyle coming back?

When I first started in the fitness industry I was an aerobics instructor. Yes, I learned how to teach an aerobics class, which required music, space and my mind, to create an exercise experience. There was no equipment other than the humble mat and sometimes we used light dumbbells.

How long ago was this? This was the early nineties and since then, the diversification of the group exercise format is beyond anything anyone could have imagined. Formats vary from equipment based to pre-choreographed and licenced programs, mind/body formats to HIIT, dance to athletic, there is something for everyone looking to train in a group environment. (more…)

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