Drama…some of us can’t live without it, others of us run from it as fast as we can. Every job has its share of drama, but there’s nothing like some good GYM drama! In addition to the outfits, the relationships, the flatulence, and the various breathing techniques, there’s a load of excitement found amongst every staff. As a group fitness instructor, you may be facing DRAMATIC challenges, but you can stay focused as a professional!
Diva Colleagues: We all know a few. Instead of letting these instructors rub you the wrong way, find the humor! Embrace the instructor’s enthusiasm and assume that they are also doing the best they can in the best way they know how. Choose to be supportive when it comes to discussing class formats and the fundamentals, instead of focusing on personality and style.
Unsafe Packed Classes: Do you wonder why so many people attend the class where the instructor executes movements with improper form and technique at the speed of light? Perhaps there is something charismatic about the instructor, or the music is particularly motivating. You can only control yourself. Use your class as a time to educate members, model industry safety standards, proper form and technique and provide a fun, motivating class! Of course, if you feel ethically inclined to share your concerns with management, do so.
Schedule Changes: So, maybe your class just isn’t bringing in the numbers. Is it the time slot, the format, or heaven forbid…YOU? Maybe it is YOU. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, use the situation as an opportunity to pick up another class or client. Often times it is not just one factor that makes a class successful. Remember, change brings opportunity for growth and new experiences.
Apparent Favoritism: So, you are sure that Mr. 20 Classes on the schedule only has them, because his BFF is the Group Fitness Manager. Who cares?! There are so many gyms and clubs to work at, if you are not feeling the love, find a new place. Choose to assume that the GFM has the best intentions for their own job and the well-being of the facility.
Negative Instructors: Do you see the same, negative, gloom and doom instructor every week at the change of class? Refuse to feed into it. Keep the exchange brief and positive. Do you happen to over hear instructors bad mouthing other instructors? Listen to your mother. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it.
Unruly Members: Okay, they may not be unruly, but they are definitely not doing what you are doing, and you are the TEACHER! There are some people that will not ever follow directions well, for whatever reason. As long as they are not going hurt themselves or someone else in class, leave them alone. If it is overly distracting, kindly suggest, privately after class, that they move to the side or back of the room. You may also encounter the member who knows more than you could ever know about fitness. Refuse to engage in a struggle of the power of the minds. Commend them on of their love of fitness!
Subbing: Whether you are subbing for someone, or someone else is subbing for you, it can be frustrating. You can only be yourself. Members who are there for a workout will make sure they get one, regardless of who is teaching. As long as you are safe, provide an efficient workout, you’ve done your deed. On the other hand, prep your own classes for subs. Encourage them to come to class even though you won’t be there.
All in all, stay focused. Remind yourself of why you started teaching group exercise in the first place. Keep your professional integrity, cultivate a positive attitude, and contribute to a creative and motivating atmosphere. Refuse to get caught up!