Part of my role as a Group Fitness Director is to develop talent and give the next wave of rockstar instructors the tools and resources to shine. So what makes for a really successful instructor? In order to succeed, instructors have to be able to set themselves apart from others instructors that teach similar formats. All gyms and studios want to hire instructors who are not only knowledgable, engaging and charismatic but we also want instructors who will attract new members/clients to their business, while maintaining their current member base. If you are doing the bare minimum or baseline routine. . . well, that’s not going cut it, nor is it going to help you build your following.
Connect, Connect, Connect
The best instructors know how to connect with the people in their classes. Knowing the names of your regular’s is a great first step in really getting to know the people who show up for you everyday. If you want to take it a step further, make yourself accessible to them both before and after class. You never want to be the instructor that shows up, teaches their class and then dips as soon as the cool down is complete. Pay attention to who is taking your class and stick around to learn something new about one person each time you teach.
Switch up your programming
You may not think that your class participants notice or even care about your program design, but they do notice and they do care. A LOT! Simply switching up your warm-up or cool down routine can make a world of difference and keep your class feeling new and exciting each time. Those small changes are the key to keep them coming back.
It’s not about you
Every great instructor has mastered the skill of knowing that it’s not about them. This concept is a hard one for new instructors to wrap their heads around because they feel this undying need to overcompensate about their skill set. So you can do an overhead squat, on a stability ball with your eyes closed? Great. . . But tell me how that translates to helping your class achieve their weight loss or fitness goals. Here’s the bottom line — is it impressive? Meh. Does it make for a great Instagram post that will garner a lot of ‘views.’ Maybe. But your participants don’t care how strong you are, until they know that you are committed to helping them get stronger. The best instructors know that they need to put as much, if not more effort, into their actual programming as they do into self-promotion.
Show them a little love
Some of my best instructors look at their role as a long term commitment, rather than an hourly job. They turn their class into a community of like-minded individuals that push and support and encourage one another, both inside and outside of the classroom. Whether you realize it or not, your class participants look at you like a role model. . . so show up everyday and act like it. If you see someone in class crushing their workout, take a moment to acknowledge them and praise their hard work. In the same regard if I see someone struggling to finish the last few reps, I jump in there with them and we count them out together. It’s all about letting them know that I am invested in their success.