The last year and a half pushed Pilates teachers and their clients to online instruction, and building and nurturing relationships in this environment created a unique set of challenges. many clients are heading back to the studio, there are others who will choose to continue training from the convenience of their living rooms.
As an online instructor, how are you using virtual resources to inspire and encourage your clients through the screen?
There are a number of ways to practice Pilates online – from one-on-one sessions to group classes to recorded workouts. The convenience of pulling out a laptop in the comfort of their home vs. driving to a class aligns with many clients’ daily routines.
Even where they determine the pace of their exercises and preferred location, you still have the ability to create a sense of virtual familiarity. Consider the physical elements that can be translated online. Send an introduction video to your class before your first live session. Detail what sparked your interest in Pilates and what motivates you to today. Offer an encouraging word of support. Email a list of resources and equipment clients should have for daily practice. Anticipate their needs and communicate the tools required to train with you.
A major advantage of in-person learning is the physical sense of community. Clients are surrounded by a group aiming for similar goals and are able to strike up an organic conversation with peers. They can seek you out after class for a quick question about the lesson.
While teaching one-on-one allows for immediate feedback, individual instruction, online group glasses, and recordings can create a greater disconnect than a traditional studio. Bridge the gap by diversifying the way you encourage that sense of community. Start a community forum, like a Facebook group, where clients can share their opinions and experiences, or ask clarifying questions. Incorporate an inclusive environment that eases real-time communication barriers like a comment section under your vlog post, a video chat feature to engage clients after a live class, and social media updates that present weekly goals. Send feedback forms after sessions that rate exercises, request suggestions, and engage your clients’ voices and collaboration.
Welcoming everyone’s input creates an opportunity to commit and actively participate in the road to reaching their health goals at the same time that they build interpersonal relationships with one another.
Lead by Example
When you understand your client’s perspective, you pave the way to more engaging interactions that can inspire all of you. Keep up with your own practice and stay in touch with your inner student to continually develop the best way to communicate with and instruct clients on their journeys. Watch your recorded teachings to review the flow of your lessons. Revitalize your teachings by joining a course taught by one of your peers; attend conferences to transform the way you show up as an instructor; or participate in virtual events to cast a wider net for engaging and networking with others.
Sharing the benefits of your commitment to growth and connection will inspire your clients to be just as devoted to their own practice.
If you are looking for professional advocacy and a community of support, think about becoming a member of The Pilates Method Alliance. Learn more here.