The Coach Approach: Teacher vs. Instructor vs. Coach

Teacher vs. Instructor vs. Coach

In the fitness arena these three terms are often used interchangeably, but it is important to distinguish the role of an indoor cycling coach from other fitness professionals because in the cycling studio, systematic athletic coaching and transformative inspiration can happen in ways that are unavailable to other group fitness classes. (See table below.)

For the purposes of this and upcoming articles about coaching indoor cycling students, we will consider the term “teaching” as the realm of education that moves students from the not knowing to the knowing—abstraction, theory, and concept. To be clear, some teaching certainly happens in an indoor cycling class. For example, when the indoor cycling coach talks about the value of periodized training, or when information is shared about integrating the use of power meters into the classes, or when the benefits of wearing cycling shoes rather than running shoes is discussed. In all of these cases the indoor cycling coach is wearing a “teacher” cap and is the expert in the classroom, sharing information and educating participants.

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