The next installment of our Creative Visualization and Imagery series focuses on coaching your riders to focus on their breath, how to connect their breath with their pedal strokes, and how to talk about pedal stroke dynamics. These are the tricks that help athletes ignore any possible negative thoughts such as doubt and fear, and lead them to success. While these are exceptional for sub-threshold intensity cueing (like endurance classes), they put your riders into the right mental space to take on higher intensities.
In this chapter, I discuss the use of metaphors and similes to add color and personality to your coaching. These spark your riders to be more creative and to use their imagination. They are an incredibly powerful coaching method and will set you apart from the typical bootcamp-style instructor who only shouts out commands, telling people specifically what to do. Here are 52 metaphors and similes to spice up your cueing.
The language techniques described here will help you to greatly expand your vocabulary, use different ways for expressing a similar idea, and will add color and excitement to your coaching. In part 1, I discussed the physiological effects of visualization and imagery techniques and how the mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event. Your creative cueing will take advantage of this fact to help guide them to higher levels of performance and success.
Part 2 of this series outlines the six steps to help you as you pursue your journey to develop your style as an instructor. When you become an authentic and inspirational coach, your students will remember your words any time they encounter challenges in their lives, physical or mental. I guarantee that when you do, you will hear comments such as, “because of you, I didn’t give up!”
Have you used mantras to inspire your students up epic climbs? Do you know how they work? Here are the reasons behind why mantras help focus athletes on the task at hand, as well as 85 different mantras you can use in your coaching, and tips on how to personalize them and to inspire your students to create their own.
HOW coaches communicate with their athletes is just as important as WHAT they communicate. Coaching is about developing relationships with your students, and helping them grow as athletes. When an athlete is coached properly, they are more likely to increase their effort, and perform at a higher level.
It was a busy night. All the bikes were booked and the profile I was teaching was very challenging for the riders. It was also cue-rich and required my careful attention on the responses of everyone in the room. My heart sunk when I realized that two of the bikes had been reserved by newcomers to my class.