By Jennifer Lintz, RD, LD, and ICI/PRO Contributor
Isn't it nice to get a pat on the back from time-to-time?
Even though coming to a cycle class - or working out, period - may not be a big deal for some of our participants, it can be a huge feat for others. One of my goals recently has been to make sure I let my participants know how awesome it is that they simply showed up.
To be clear, I am striving to say more than "I'm so glad you came today!" and "Good job!"
I truly want to drive home the message that our students - whether rookie or veteran - are amazing. Sure, some people may not need to hear a peep of praise, but others would love a little genuine encouragement and recognition.
Here are some examples.
Early Risers - I teach a class at 5:15 a.m. once a week, and am constantly impressed by the number of people who regularly come to class at this hour. For this crowd, I might say something like: "Talk about starting your day on the right foot. It's 5:15 a.m. and there are a lot of people still sleeping. You could have hit snooze and caught a few more minutes of sleep, but instead, you showed up to work hard. Kudos to you for that."
Weekend Crew - At one of my colleague's Saturday morning class this fall, I specifically remember her telling us (the class) how stellar we were for getting up before 8 a.m. on a weekend. Not expecting recognition for showing up, her comment caught me off guard; but, it was very well-received. The unexpected encouragement and positive comment motivated from the get-go.
Evening Group - I teach a couple of classes in the evening throughout the week, and have found several ways to give a shout out to the folks in this time frame. For example, "I know how easy it is to find excuses to skip a workout after a long day, but the fact that you all showed up speaks leaps and bounds about how committed you are." Or, "There were probably a long list of obstacles that could have kept you away from this class; the couch, a TV show, your pajamas, or just feeling tired. What's awesome is that you resisted those temptations, didn't give into excuses, and are here."
Thursday Devotees - Where I instruct, Thursday is one of the lowest-utilized days, not just in cycle, but throughout the entire facility. My Thursday night crew knows it! Why? I tell them. They hear me say things like "This is the day of the week when the fewest amount of people come to the gym. None of you fall into that category. You are here and, therefore, you are amazing. Thank you for showing up!"
These are just a few samples of what I might say to guys and gals who come to my classes. I understand that, some days, it is HARD to find any energy, motivation, desire - you name it - to exercise. I get that there are things that come up. I'll be the first to admit that there are days when I struggle to get my workouts in, too.
Because I know how difficult it can be, I have a burning desire to let my students know just how much they ROCK for dodging all of the obstacles that may have been in their way.
I would love to hear about the ways you commend your students for just showing up.
Originally posted 2013-12-13 04:05:16.
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I normally say things like this:
When is a nice day outside, and people come to my class regardless, I say “thank you for braving the elements and making it to class”.
To Friday PM crew I always start by saying. “Welcome to happy hour Spin class, let’s have some fun!” – I don’t know why, but people love hearing that.
I almost always close the class by saying “Thank you for coming. I am very happy that you decided to share this hour with me. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did.”.
At the end of all my classes while in cool-down, I go around to every single person and give them a fist pump and a shout out for their awesome work during class. I feel they really appreciate that and they leave the gym feeling great.