One of our more popular series on ICA is a set of articles with various strategies for inspiring your students up long climbs. The series was called Strategy for Strength, and is one of the favorites we’ve done on ICA. One of the strategies was to inspire students to come up with a mantra that they repeat over and over to themselves as they climb. Of course, mantras aren’t just for climbing. I was inspired recently to come up with some for sustained tempo pace.
Some new instructors are more challenged than others with stage fright, especially if they do not come from a group fitness background. Most of these insecurities are easily quelled with practice, practice, practice. Allow yourself the time and space to make mistakes. Here are some tips for new instructors that will minimize your nervousness as you move beyond your certification.
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.
Everyone had a class with a fun and wacky science teacher in high school, right? I’m not advocating that we start developing quirks or acting wacky in our indoor cycling classes, but the point is, making education fun using humor and wit is a great way to learn AND and a fun way to teach. Hopefully our dating, bagels, poultry, and pasta analogies will spark some ideas to create some of your own wacky ways to explain something on the bike.
Have you ever cued to turn up the resistance by giving a number of turns to your class? You may want to find a better way to cue resistance! Caesar filmed a brief video for his riders who have been used to being told the number of turns expected, so he wanted to show them why it’s not an effective cue. We hope this helps you so you can explain to your class why you don’t cue that way.
For this final edition of the high-intensity creative cueing series, you’ll learn very specific cues to direct your riders to execute a proper explosive sprint. Our bonus cue is a humorous analogy that will not only make your riders giggle, but will also serve as a light-bulb moment to help reinforce exactly what you mean by giving it your all, and recovering sufficiently.