Monday, March 18, 2019

What Makes a Successful Class?

  • Is it having a regular class on the schedule? 
  • Is it teaching your favorite format? 
  • Is it successful only if the room is packed wall-to-wall? 
  • Rave reviews by members or the public? 
  • Or, maybe getting paid to do something you enjoy?
Well, it can by any, or all, of these things. It may be some things not on this short list. However, at the end of the day, the question still remains: what makes a successful class? A successful class is one that participants enjoy from START to FINISH. A successful class is one that is taught safely and effectively. A successful class is one that remains participant-focused. As instructors, we sometime lose sight of the importance of keeping our classes focused on our students. Perhaps we’ve had a rough day at work. Maybe our child is sick. We could become more focused on our own performance in the class than our students. Or, maybe, we just don’t want to be there that day. 

In order to have a successful class we need to first remember WHY we do what we do. We’ve all fallen in love with certain formats and made the big leap to becoming instructors. At this point, we’ve transitioned from “participant” to “instructor”; the class is now in OUR hands and it’s success is up to us. In the trials of life, we have ups and downs. A rough day at work, that big upcoming project, a sick kid at home, our mood, or other personal concerns (and more) all can lead us to that “magical” land of DISTRACTION. We end up not focusing on our classes and the don’t receive our full attention. Our students deserve to have us at our best, especially when we are asking them to give their best selves to us

Having a packed class is certainly indicative of having a popular class, but is the class successful as well. Well, that depends. Depending on studio size, 60 may be packed, but so can 16. Also, the right format, at the right time, on the right day, can be a HUGE impact. I’ve often heard some instructors compare their class totals to other instructors. Ultimately, this can become a distraction too. Once again, this is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and focus on our students. We can do this by ensuring our classes remain fun AND fitness-based. Make certain your members are working hard—no matter how many are present. Keeping our classes focused on their fitness goals is a key to having and maintaining a successful class. 

Another key to having a successful class and keeping classes participant-focused is to remember: this workout is for our students, NOT us. Our role as instructors is to give our members the best workout of their day, EVERY day we teach. When we are focused on our squat (other than to demonstrate proper form) and not THEIR squat, we’ve shifted into being self-focused. One good way to making sure we keep our focus on our students is to FACE our students when we teach. Facing our members allows not only us to see them, but for THEM TO SEE YOU. It helps us to engage our students directly and each person in the room will feel like your smile was meant just for them. (Also, we get a better visual for any potential safety hazards that may arise and it’s easier to get the classes attention.) These are only a few things we can do for successful classes. 

However, the bottom line to being successful in your classes is simply remembering WHY you are there in the first place. It’s not to get paid (though that’s nice), it’s not because our name is on the schedule (names can be replaced), and it’s not because we need the workout (this may be true, but we need to do that before/after class). We’re there because we love sharing our fitness passions with our students. In return, they love us for being fully present and dedicated to keeping them safe while having fun! 🙂
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