Growth and positive change are often uncomfortable. It can be much easier for us to blame someone else, or a situation, than it is to look within and see what steps we can take to continue to grow and develop. Whether you have been teaching for 6 months or 16 years, I am positive that stepping outside of what is comfortable is often what is needed for your growth and confidence. The moment we stop learning or taking actionable steps toward bettering ourselves is the minute we become old, whether we are 18 or 80.
An awesome way to ensure your growth is by recording your class.
I first listened to an audio recording of my class about five years ago. As so many people are, I am my own worst critic. I picked apart the “habit phrases” I heard myself repeat over and over again, I noted strange tonalities in my voice, and I discovered that I would often phrase cues in a way that sounded unresolved. It wasn’t what I was saying, but how I delivered it.
Now that I record classes in a professional recording studio for continuous release on the CycleCast app, I am forced to listen to myself speak as part of my job. I have the good fortune to be able to decide whether I am OK with what I say and how I say it, and then can re-record. Obviously, you can’t re-record a real-time class, but you can still make positive changes in your delivery when you learn to audit and assess how you teach your classes.
In short, listening to an audio recording of myself teaching a class was eye-opening, awful, and completely necessary for me to continue to know myself and the experience I am delivering to others in the classroom. Audio recording has since been a part of nearly every long-term teacher training I have conducted for boutique studios. Everyone despises listening to themselves the first few times, then gets used to it, then slowly starts implementing small and personal changes. As in anything, it is a process. I advise any new instructor to wait until you are at least a few months into your teaching before tackling this uncomfortable—yet necessary—exercise.
Here are six ways to take action to increase your confidence by audio recording yourself, helping you to grow in a positive way in the cycling studio: