From Ordinary Instructor to Extraordinary Coach – from C.O.R.E. Cycling

Since it is part of our credo at ICA to help instructors transform their coaching from ordinary to extraordinary, the moment I saw this article on the C.O.R.E. Cycling website, I knew I had to share it with my readers. Clair Cafaro graciously agreed to let me post it for you. Here’s to being the best indoor cycling coach you can be!This is an article that Clair Cafaro of C.O.R.E. Cycling has sent out in their monthly newsletter. She graciously has allowed me to reprint it on ICA for all of my readers and members. Clair and I have often marveled over how similar she and I are in our outlook and our passion for inspiring indoor cycling instructors. Mark my words, you will hear more about C.O.R.E. Cycling in the year to come! If you know anyone in Canada looking to get certified as an indoor cycling coach, C.O.R.E. Cycling is their best bet – make sure to let all aspiring instructors know about them!

Every single one of us can learn to be a more effective and compassionate coach. Andy Higgin’s book Best Coaches Best Practices is worth the read for any coach aspiring to raise the bar.

(This is Part 1. Part 2 will post next week).

From Ordinary Instructor to Extraordinary Coach – Part 1
By Clair Cafaro. Adapted from coach Andy Higgin’s “Best Coaches Best Practices” 2003 Higgins House*

Best Practice #1 – Create Emotionally and Physically Safe Environments.
Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes is also known as empathy. Remembering what it was like to spin for the first time, feeling inadequate, intimidated, somehow less-than goes a long way in connecting with your newer participants.  Giving them permission to leave the class at any time, to work within their own comfort zone, treating them with kindness and respect is to create an “emotionally safe environment”. Ensuring they are set up correctly on the bike, teaching them how to set themselves up (thereby empowering them) and never engaging in movements that put them at risk – movements like hovers, isolations, jumps, outrageous cadences – avoiding any movement not in keeping with outdoor cycling’s best practices, creates a “safe physical environment”.

Best Practice #2 – Live and Teach Positive Values.
Living positively is living with honesty and integrity. Teaching positive values means modeling honesty and integrity. An extraordinary coach treats everyone she comes into contact with kindly and respectfully – not just her own participants, but other instructors, studio staff and management.

Best Practice #3 – See Grand Possibilities, See People As They Can Be.
An extraordinary coach sees the potential in his participants. Seeing grand possibilities means getting to know each individual and planting the seed of possibility firmly in their minds.

Best Practice #4 – Expect Significant Positive Change.
Each participant revels in the knowledge that you believe in their ability to become the best version of themselves.  Each significant change begins with a series of small steps. Celebrate their successes along the way as they reach beyond self imposed limits. Show them how consistency and hard work results in positive changes, reaping what they sow.

Best Practice #5 – Lead From the Heart.

An extraordinary coach honours his participants by expressing his caring for them.  He leads from the heart by creating events that benefit his class and community.  An extraordinary coach is passionate about what he does and excited by the possibilities he helps create. He firmly believes in “leaving his mark”.



To download the pdf of this article on the C.O.R.E. Cycling newsletter, click here.

*”Best Coaches Best Practices – Your Path to Personal Excellence” is available through Amazon

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