Sunday, August 3, 2014

150/75: The Instructor Energy Equation

 “C’mon, you can do it!”
“Big arms here!”
 “Full out!”

I will say ANYthing when I’m teaching to push students to get the best workout they can get.  It feels like I have to give 150% energy to get them to do about 75% of what I’m doing.  It’s not because anybody’s lazy, of course – there are lots of reasons why students won’t do as much as the instructor: they’re shy about doing moves full out; they’re unsure of how much they can push their bodies; they don’t know the moves just yet. 

I find myself doing overly dramatic moves to push students to get a better workout… and it’s tiring! Here are some new strategies I’ve come up with to encourage students to push themselves:

·       Great music: First things first, the playlist has to be good.  So good that people can’t help themselves but to get into the music.

·       Make room: Sounds obvious, but I often find everyone clustered really close together, leaving no room for deep squats or a big grapevine.  I try to remind everyone to make sure they’re arms’ distance away from their neighbors.

·       Motivation without bullying: I try to be encouraging without turning into a drill sergeant! Verbal cues help bring students’ attention back to the moves and provide an opportunity to point out places where they can go bigger/faster.

·       Focus on a body part: If the move we’re doing doesn’t have an obvious focus, I usually encourage students to squeeze their core or use stronger arm movements.  This helps them get a better workout throughout the duration of the song.

What strategies do you use to encourage students to give 100% in your classes?

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