5 Feb 2019

If I have 1 regret from my years of teaching, it is that I did not cancel enough classes. My loyalty to the people who came was personal not professional and they would have continued to come, even and perhaps especially if I had been more business like in my class planning. My loyalty to the clubs where I taught was never reciprocated or rewarded, it was expected and that is a massive ask! Sometimes we have nothing to give and at these times we should be able to recoup and relax. You may throw in the need to earn money at this point, but in all honesty, if you do this job well, with planning and some percentage of a business mind, your days away from teaching should not impact your overall income.

So many people think that I hate Les Mills, they are a constant reference on my courses, so let me add a little clarity to this mis-conception. As a company I have 100% admiration for what they have done and how they have done it. They have given group x global standardisation and recognition , upping our professional awareness in a way that no one else has, or will ever do again. They are a constant reference in my dialogue because their mass approach, their (and other 3rd party providers) dumbing down of what is potentially the most amazing model with such massive potential has generated so much success for them and for the operators BUT the instructor while so smitten with the tribe, large class numbers, new content on tap is no better off (perhaps even worse off) in terms of money, respect and personal recognition. It is all about the brand. If 100% of your income and time is dedicated to 3rd parties – when and if they stop or are taken away you will be left with nothing – the time, effort and energy needed to get back in the free thinking game will seem way too much and others will have left you behind. I want more for all of you. I know for a fact that the people who come to you will continue to come to you, I know that there is so much opportunity when you break away and reclaim even a small percentage of your own creative potential and I know that your investment into their brand would pay you dividends if invested into the progression of your own talent.

In FFY I cultivate this basic algorithm –  LOOK – SEE – THINK – SPEAK, our fitness world is the same as our realtime world in that we are now fed the very same formulas via the TV, media, we know what is going to happen on Strictly… and X Factor before it happens and yet we keep watching. In class we generally walk in with a plan and it runs smoothly because people like it or there is a red flag because someone cannot do it or does not enjoy it.

None of these things should be important. We should have a plan for goals and objectives that is determined by you and controlled by you. If someone does well we move them on, if not they stick until they improve. They are not meant to be able to do it – it should be difficult – it is a skill that needs building up and they , only they can dedicate the amount of effort needed to see a reward. This is not your problem.

And so we look but we do not see, we do not think and we speak. In order to be a better version of yourself, to gain more respect, more job satisfaction and ultimately build a better income YOU MUST 

  1. Look at everyone as an individual – although we follow similar traits we all have different formations that naturally allow us to do some things well and some things badly or not at all. No modification or teaching point will change this. If you look you will notice these things and you will formulate answers for example – “this does not suit you – here is something else”. When you know this and can see it, you advance as a teacher.
  2. See what is actually happening, not what you expect to be happening – when you think of all of the tiny comments we put into class that are not necessary, repetitive and boring, that overlook the eagerness and anticipation of the people in front of you it is mind boggling. They should be waiting for what you might potentially give them NOT waiting for you to deliver a formula that they possible know as well as you.
  3. Think about what you are going to say – this will be based upon what you see, when you look and it will be new, fresh and informative. This will make them have to listen to you, your words, your thoughts, your information.
  4. Speak when you have something to say – so many words come out of our mouths every time we teach. Making people listen to them, respond to them and improve as a result of them is the skill I am talking about.

To do this and do it well takes time. First you have to acknowledge that formatted classes are letting you all down intellectually, you need to accept that you have everything in place to do and be better, you need to devote time to thinking about what you are doing and why. You need to be prepared to cut your current script by 75% and you need to have the confidence to try new things, say new things and make more mistakes.
Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of free and critical thinking.

Tomorrow we will have a word about them , what they say and the mess they have gotten us into.