By Jennifer Lintz, Registered Dietitian and ICI/PRO Member Soigneur
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Schwinn training led by the very talented, energetic, and inspiring Julz Arney.
The training was called "All the Right CUES" and boy, oh boy did I walk away with a ton of great information. Julz gave us awesome examples of effective coaching strategies to use on the instructor bike. Interestingly, one of the points that stuck with me the most from this session had nothing to do with talking and everything to do with keeping my mouth shut.
To start the conversation, Julz asked "How many of you would consider yourselves extroverts?" and "How many of you would say you are introverts? For the most part, the group was mixed, with slightly fewer extroverts.
She then told us about a time she attended a cycle class where the instructor narrated every single minute. Participants were told what to think virtually non-stop, from warm up through cool down. For some students - extroverts, in particular - she explained, this type of teaching technique might be ideal, but it wasn't for her. For introverts, she said, some of the most interesting moments happen during the quiet, when there is time to process, reflect, and think.
Even though we all want riders to have a positive experience, I doubt any of us plans to poll the room before class to ask: "How many of you are extroverts?" or "Where are my introverts?" No way! A better approach would be to assume there is a mixture in the room. In other words, expect to have some extroverts who love it when you spend time talking, and also plan to have introverts who appreciate it when you give them a chance to hear their own thoughts.
The take away from Julz Arney's message, at least for me, was that I do not have to fill every single second of class with my voice.
She suggested having a "minute of silence" at least six times in an hour-long class.
In other words: I (and you) have the right to remain silent!
Coincidentally, after the Schwinn workshop, I viewed a recording of one of my classes from earlier this year (we are required to do this annually where I teach). As I watched, I waited and waited and WAITED for a "minute of silence," hoping that I might already be on the right track, but it never came. As I told my supervisor afterward, I would have been so annoyed if I were a participant in my own class that day. I talked the ENTIRE time!
Since listening to Julz and watching that video of myself teaching, I have learned that great coaches need not talk non-stop, and that a blend of talking and being quiet can be a beautiful thing. Am I meeting the goal of having a minute of silence six times in every class? Not quite. But, I am definitely working on it.
Originally posted 2018-02-07 09:00:34.
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