How to Educate Your Riders, Part 3: How to Teach Without Being “Teachy”

My first class as an instructor didn’t go particularly well. A day or two after I had just certified, I had a call from my group exercise director needing my help. “This is DEFCON FIVE,” she said. “I need someone tomorrow morning for our most demanding class and I don’t have anyone else.”

I went to it with all the enthusiasm and knowledge built up over the time I had studied. I was excited about all I knew and I tried to share it with the class—all at once! After the class I looked at the sign-in sheet where members marked their attendance. A member had written there, “You talked too much.”

I was hurt. I put all my energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge into the class. I put my heart into it. And it wasn’t accepted.

My group ex director was terrific. She said, “You are going to be a good instructor. Just hang in there and you will learn how to hand out your knowledge at the right time and in the right way.”

Starting that day, I have worked to be a better teacher. This has become my mantra:

Here is what I’ve learned:


  1. Great article Bill a variety of resources and cues. As always sometimes a litttle silence is golden.

    1. Author

      Thanks much, John. I appreciate your commitment to always learning and improving.

  2. None of the six links in Bill’s article work! It appears the article has been recycled from four years ago so perhaps the destination of the links, which appear to date back even further (2012), are no longer active.

    1. Author

      Thanks. I have passed this along.

  3. Author

    Thanks Gloria, I always enjoy seeing what you have to say. It’s hard to be both passionate and patient, but sometimes that is what is necessary. It would be fun to see one of your classes. I bet they are terrific.

  4. Thanks for this, Bill. I get so frustrated seeing bad set ups, pogo stick pedaling in hand position 2 and 3, low resistance, high RPM etc, that it is hard for me not to want to fix it all at once! People at Flywheel consistently ask me how I get such high power numbers (probably thinking “at my age”) and my answers are sometimes too long. I cringe thinking about how these people’s knees and backs are going to feel over time. Will have to think some quick effective responses up! Happy New Year!

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