Joe Ducosin runs CycleQuest Studio in Eden Prairie, MN with his awesome wife Patti. Joe’s great at communicating with his Instructor’s and has given me permission to share his “Pre Season reminders for Instructors” with you. You can download a pdf of this here.
I haven’t sent an instructor email out in a while but with the weather quickly changing and the attendance at the studio about to pick up I wanted to make sure that all of us are on the same page as to procedures and how we are instructing classes at the studio. I would never tell anyone exactly how to instruct or what type of music to play as the freedom to be creative is so important to being great at your craft, but there are some guidelines that we need to stay within for consistency and a positive experience for participants in our classes. So please consider these tips as we present ourselves in front of the class, plan our playlists, profiles and drills.
Mic up! – I always suggest using the wireless mic because your voice has to compete with music from the speakers, and the music has to be louder to be motivating. With smaller classes you can probably get away without it but the experience when you can be heard throughout the studio is always better for participants, especially those toward the back of the class. Take a class from an instructor that isn’t mic’d up and sit further away and you will know what I am talking about. When mic’d up properly you should be able to hear your regular voice through the speakers. If you don’t use the mic be careful to pay attention how loud and piercing your voice can be to those close to you in the front row and be careful not to scream to instruct above the sound level of the music.
New wireless mic – The new mic sounds great but needs to be adjusted to fit properly. Take time before the start of class to adjust the ear piece to fit snug on your ear and adjust the length of the boom to be as close to the side of your mouth as possible. The new mic adjustments are a little quirky but proper mic placement is key to your voice being heard well through the speakers. Also throughout the class do a mic check with the person farthest from you in the class.
Music volume – I can’t emphasize enough how this is one of the most motivating aspects of indoor cycling. Every song in your playlist will play at a different sound level depending on how it was recorded or copied. You should consistently be adjusting your music volume, turning it down when your instruction or side conversations with the class needs to be heard and back up so the driving beat can be felt.
Explicit lyrics – Please choose the clean versions of songs. If you’ve played music with explicit language, please remove it from your playlist.
Learn customer’s names – The studio was founded on creating a welcoming fun fitness atmosphere. Learning customer’s names and being personable is key to creating a following and you can’t go wrong with the attendance list being online and at the front desk. Introduce yourself to all customers you don’t know and identify those new to the studio and make sure they are setup properly on the bike. Explain all options on the computer, your instruction style and what they should expect.
Be enthusiastic and create high energy. Your enthusiasm is infectious and you have to be prepared to bring it every class. Keep your music fresh and vary your drills. Don’t just be good, be great every class. What sets you apart from all of the other instructors? Don’t teach a class just running through the same motions every week.
Don’t leave the class guessing – give specific instruction. If going through the song break let the class know. Tell them how long the interval will be, when the effort will end, how long until recovery and how they should be feeling. Be engaged with the class and aware of how you are motivating with your enthusiasm at all times building up the intensity and controlling every moment with precise instruction to keep the energy created high. Silence in the studio when not recovering or in between a song break is not motivating. Take advantage of all the features on the bike computer to run your drills – watts, cadence, rpm, gear and heart rate.
Get your music going before the official start of class. A lot of customers get to the studio early and motivating music should be playing while they are warming up.
Remind friends that are new to the studio to create an account first to make their check-in at the front desk faster.
Remind participants after every class to gently lower seat and handlebar to the frame and wipe down their bike and the floor and don’t forget to wipe down your own bike and floor around the instructor bike.
Inappropriate dvd movies – All movies should be motivating in some way. Be very careful of the language in closed caption, inappropriate sexual scenes and unnecessary violent content. Before playing any PG/PG-13 rated movie during class contact me for approval. Also make sure you have watched the portion of the movie you will be playing so as not to be surprised by something inappropriate.
If you have questions about any these topics or need clarification please let me know. Patti and I appreciate all of you contributing your special talents and being part of CycleQuest Studio and look forward to many well attended fun classes this fall and winter!
Eden Prairie, MN