Top Ten Tricks For Nailing Your Next Audition: Part 4

This is the final installment on the series by Bryon Black on Top Ten Tricks for Nailing Your Next Audition. This tip deserved its own article because of its impact. Get this one right and not only will you probably knock the socks off those in your audition, but it will establish your foundation as you progress as an indoor cycling coach. This suggestion will permeate how you create your profiles, how you coach your students, how you help them progress in their fitness, and how you grow as a person.


  1. Thanks so much for this set of articles. These ought to be referred to time and time again, not just for auditions but maybe in conjunction with the how to connect with smaller classes.

    My POV is “ride honestly, ride for yourself”. I have to agree that there are participants who find an instructor with a POV ‘too intense’ and prefer the go, go, go, plain vanilla.

    I won’t change who I am and how I choose to teach/coach a class, suffice it to say, I have many participants who love the fact that my classes provide a purpose and an answer to the Why?

  2. Great article to sum up your series on nailing the audition.
    I recently had to audition for a high profile NYC club that was expanding to New Jersey. No not Soulcycle or Flywheel. Not ever. I hadn’t had to audtion in over 10 years and I was a wreck. We had 3 minutes. Not one second more to show our stuff. We also sat in on all the other auditioners before and after our respective turns.
    I knew exactly what I was going to do, had it rehearsed and knew my POV. I had one. So I get what your saying. I got the job and most of what I saw had my mouth hanging open in disbelief. When I walked out of the audition and while I waited over a week to find out if I got it, I rationalized that if what they were looking for was not my style of instruction, and what they were looking for included “go go go”, then it was not the club for me and we were not a good fit.
    So in reference to the above comment, sometimes we have to be the discernng instructor about where we want to teach. And if the club just wants the” cheerleader ” and not a “coach” then leave it for the poor to average instructor.
    I guess what I’m saying here is we as instructors should have standards also as to where we teach along with how and why we teach.

  3. That you for all your articles on this topic Bryon, I cannot agree with you more.

    But.. Let me be a devil’s advocate here because from my experience having your POV is not always welcome, particularly in the big fitness clubs delivering indoor cycling in the form of a “canned product”. They don’t necessary appreciate an instructor with POV. They want you to coach in exactly the same, mediocre way, (like the product that they sell), giving meaningless empty cues, screaming your head off while shouting “go, go, go”, otherwise you become “too difficult” for the audience.

    Let me tell you a story: during my audition I was the only Spinning(R) instructor among others, who were trained in Les Mills program. In the feedback I received I was all the time compared to them: how I did things differently, including the fact that I had my own choreography to a track that appeared on one of the CD releases a few years earlier! Apparently, having your own choreography ‘would confuse riders because they are used to a different choreography for this track”. Also, when you explain things to your audience, you “lose a connection with them” too. I was also told that if I “improve on those points” I could take part in auditions again… Essentially, I was told that if I become “more like others” I have much bigger chance to become a part of the big family. Errrr, no thank you.

    I have to say that if I didn’t have those months of riding under my belt and excellent support from my riders in the clubs I currently teach, I would have totally doubted myself. Needless to say, it was my first and last audition for a big fitness club. What I am trying to say here is that being an instructor with POV often makes you a lonely rider because… it proves your ability to think!

    We are all members of this site because we all want to be the best, wisest coaches for our riders. I think most of us are already instructors with POV –
    that’s why we are all here, because we are looking for answers. In an ideal world during auditions we will meet a person like yourself, who is waiting for a trainer with personality, and would appreciate his POV.

    But I believe that the reality is different, that’s why so many of us “Keeping it Real” struggle because of having POV. The reason why you met so many mediocre instructors is not because they are all so very average but this is what they are expected to deliver during most of their auditions: canned and boring pack of cues.

    1. Author

      Good point. I would have to question whether the club / facility is “right” for me if my POV does not line up with their culture, corporate programing, or philosophy. That is a choice I have to make with regard to working in that environment. There are a couple of trends I see in the industry regarding IDC programs, where the “big box” clubs are currently embracing canned formats like Less Mills which seems to me to be similar to what Clear Channel Broadcasting did for radio during the 2000s. They basically went to a generic / cookie cutter format in every market on every station. While this probably makes good sense to the corporate bean counters it does not necessarily lead to engaging creative content. And now everyone programs their own radio / music and has moved away from the terrestrial radio stations in droves!

      Currently one of the clubs I work at is a part of a major chain and they are flirting with the idea of LM as a format for our region. While our solid core group of instructors have spent 10+ years refining our craft, the notion of being able to easily source or interchange talent (instructors) albeit mediocre talent is appealing to management.

      For our very experienced and well regarded instructors working in a canned LM format would be very much like being a Michelin Start Chef working for The Cheesecake Factory where all the food is trucked in and heated in a microwave. No creativity or real talent needed to serve a factory made mediocre meal.

      The other trend we are seeing here in Southern California is a lot small boutique gyms sprouting up that feature some type of core / sculpt / or yoga coupled with Indoor Cycling and we are finding that those venues are very personal / member friendly, open to creative teaching, strong POVs and instructors that can Keep IT Real and build solid followings. Certainly a positive approach.

      Lastly, with regard to POV vs mediocrity. I have hired many instructors that did not have any or a solid POV on the hope that they would develop one over time. We offered a progressive and open atmosphere with training and mentoring for instructors to grow and develop their skill and POV. Some certainly took advantage of the opportunity and grew, but sadly many did not, and simply remained steadfastly focused on being awesomely mediocre which tells me that POV is more about the individual instructor than it is about the club you work for. If the club does not support your art, you are probably working at the wrong club, and if the instructor is not motivated to improve the instructor would be the obstacle to improvement.

      Yes, at times we might be alone with our POV… but as you say it is a great time to think, reflect and constantly hone your POV, being true to you is what it is about…

      Great reply! Thank you so much for reading and contributing your thoughts.

  4. Thanks for a great series of articles….

    I recently showed for a “meeting” with a GFD who did not indicate she wanted an audition but to talk about opportunities and programs at the club. Now, this club highly stresses prospective employees show up dressed professionally for interviews so i did. When i arrived not dressed in cycling gear it was her first comment to me. Strike one and that was it. I did have my bag in the car to quickly change but she didn’t have time. I felt i was prepared either way but obviously not on the same page as the GDF. I would strongly urge prospective candidates to clarify if the “meeting” includes an audition ride at that time and would it be appropriate to come dressed in cycling gear. Things happen for a reason and i have since learned this is not the place nor philosophy i would want to be a part of anyway. My bad turned into my good.

    My personal POV is Ride Safe, Ride Strong! i feel it applies to everyone and every ride. It’s always what i include in my opening and the last thing i leave them hearing.

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