Athletes know all too well the benefits of using imagery before competition.
A tennis player will imagine his powerful topspin-slice first serve. A golfer will rely on imagery to review her plan of action for her next swing. A baseball player will use imagery to get motivated for when it”™s his turn at bat.
With proper execution, imagery can also be used during your indoor cycle classes to correct and improve the technique and intensity of your participants. With your guidance, they can mentally perform specific skills and have those skills transfer to the body.
For example, you can introduce an exercise where your participants image a cheetah running through the wild. When your participants image a cheetah, they will stop bouncing up and down start powering through by focusing on moving forward.
To help your participants create a fluid pedal stroke, you can ask them to image the wheels of an old fashioned train where they can understand the meaning of a circular and fluid motion.
Imagery should also be used to help your participants correct their mistakes and improve. For best results, group fitness instructors should implement the following practice during class: (1) identify the mistake, (2) and providing feedback about how to correct it, and (3) suggest an image they can use to help them focus on the specific skill.
Call to Action: Take some time before your next class to identify the top three most common mistakes or improvements that your participants need to focus on. Then, identify an image that will help your participants understand your instruction. The next time you teach a fitness class, challenge yourself to introduce one image to your participants.
Believe and Achieve,
Haley Perlus, Ph.D.
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