This One Thing

My last post on ICA recounted some comments I received from my manager after she attended one of my classes (A Blow to Your Core). The moral of that story: feedback can be a gift, even if you perceive it as critical or an opportunity for growth. This time I’m sharing the true story of a member comment (sent to my manager, who shared them not only with me, but with our entire club) that not only brightened my day, but positively reinforced one of my strong coaching skills.

Here it is:

Yes, I do a lot to prepare for my classes. While the training plan and ride profiles are provided to us at my club, I spend hours making playlists. You do it too. As an ICA member, I read articles on physiology and innovative cueing. But there’s one thing I do that I think makes a huge difference in my coaching. Any maybe you don’t agree with its importance. Are you ready? Get in close to that screen, because here comes my secret:

I turn the music down while cueing.

*Mic drop*

Such a little thing.

In full transparency, I didn’t realize how powerful this one little turn of the volume dial could be until I received this member’s comments. But then suddenly I was so keenly aware of it. Has someone ever told you, “I love your class!” Undoubtedly it’s awesome to hear. Hopefully they tell you why. My riders shared with me that by clearly hearing my cues, they are able to understand and perform the actions I’m describing. And this makes them feel productive.

Yes, music is critical to our indoor cycling classes and we want our participants to enjoy it. But just as critical for me: I want my riders to feel successful when they dismount their bikes. Success is achieved when we give them a goal and coach them toward It. They have to hear us to do that.

What do your riders notice about your cueing style, and what secrets can you share with us?



  1. Such a great reminder. As instructors we get so excited about the music and motivating our cyclists, I know I do, we forget that even the person in the back corner of the room truly wants to hear the cues. Thank you for that message!!

    1. Author

      You’re welcome, Diana – it was eye opening to me how important this thing – we can so often take it for granted – makes such a big difference. Thanks for remembering that back row!

  2. Simple yet effective — thanks so much for sharing!! Just a reminder, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference to the member’s experience!!

    1. Author

      Susan, so true, thank you for validating!

  3. Kuddos to you Jacqueline! Thank you for sharing – the mic where I teach has been broken which makes cueing difficult – I will take extra care to really lower the music as I am doing so. Keep sharing with us!!

    1. Author

      Thank you Patricia. Ugh – have been there with a broken mic. Kudos to you for staying dedicated to cueing for your members. Hope it gets fixed soon!

  4. Great tip!! I certainly with use that idea from now on!!

    1. Author

      Thanks Susan, let us know how it goes!

  5. Thanks for the tip! I will be aware of this as I move forward

    1. Author

      Thanks for reading, Leslie. Awareness and observation are so important to the experience. Good luck!

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