Ask the Expert: How Much Coaching in Class is Too Much?

Aisha asked me this question:

Hi Jennifer, hope all is well at your end. I have learned a lot from your cycling studio forum and cycling instructors groups on Facebook. Here is a question that maybe you can answer through your experience. How much cueing is too much cueing in a spin class? Thanks.

My response:

First, I want to differentiate between “talking” and “coaching” the workout. While there is a time and place for general chitchat, I will cover that in more depth in another post (although I briefly address it below). In this response, I will stick to the question of when an instructor might be coaching too much in class, and how to tell the difference between essential and non-essential cueing. I will also briefly address the question as it relates to subbing.

Can someone talk too much? Absolutely. But if it’s needed in the moment, then it’s appropriate.

Here is a case in point. I teach periodized winter training clinics (8- to 12-week, depending on the situation). The first few classes take a lot more cueing. I have to explain power (wattage), lactate threshold, pedal stroke, RPE, and more. As we move through the weeks, I talk a LOT less. In fact, I love it when my riders are educated and all I need to do is say a few words and they get it.

BUT…that takes work. That takes time.

In a typical class where you have your regulars but also see a steady stream of new people, there are other things to consider.

So the answer is…it depends!

It depends on many factors, but specifically the following 9 things:

4 Responses to “Ask the Expert: How Much Coaching in Class is Too Much?”

  1. AeshaTahir says:

    Thanks For answering my concern about over coaching in this post. You have gone in detail about different scenarios and how to coach .It will definitely help me as a guide to stay focused on the ride.

  2. Donald Gale says:

    I’ve been guilty of over-verbalizing in classes, so reviewed by riders particularly in my earliest days. Thus I’ve been seeking ways to minimize talking and saying what I feel will best help riders in the most efficient and effective way. I greatly appreciate this post and am looking forward to some bedtime reading now in prep for tomorrow’s ride! 🙂

  3. Pat Williams says:

    Nice timely article.

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