Get to Know Your Clients, Personalize Your Cues

As instructors, we are also students.  We learn all the time.  We learn new applications for old skills and we learn new skills.  We meet new people and we meet new needs.  The most successful instructors are adaptive and innovative.  Here at Cueing Theory, we have aimed to help you out in that department with fresh cues to make Pilates more relatable and approachable to people of all backgrounds.

Well, Cueing Theory is also always learning new tricks.  While on a ski trip over the New Year holiday, I took a lesson to improve my ski technique in hopes of keeping up with my speed demon husband on the slopes (not to worry, he still can’t manage a Teaser).  I noticed that my instructor was using imagery cues to help me understand the correct body positioning and posture, so naturally, on the next chairlift up, we chatted communication techniques and the benefits of imagery cueing.

He said something that I thought was worth repeating here.  Now, typically, Cueing Theory provides you with a cue to go try out in your classes.  My ski instructor’s approach was a bit different.  He likes to get to know his clients on the chairlift rides and then come up with cues that more specifically relate to them and their lives.  Take for example last week’s arc cue.  I suggested that you choose an arc image that speaks to you – he would say, choose the arc image that speaks most to your client.  So, if you had a client who was a baker, you might use the pie crust image; an avid traveler who loves Japan, use the Kintai Bridge image; a nature lover might respond best to the image of a rainbow.

This is difficult to do in a large group setting, so pandering to the crowd might require you to be more general, but if you have clients in small group or private sessions, get to know them personally a bit.  The more someone feels a connection with the instruction, the stronger their connection will be with both the repertoire and you as an instructor.

Photo by Official on Unsplash

Go on, give it a try this week.  Talk to your clients, get to know them beyond their fitness goals.  Take your personal knowledge of a specific client and come up with a cue that is totally relevant to them.  That’s not to say our Cue Collection here at Cueing Theory can’t help.  If you get stuck, browse our cues for some ideas that might be a perfect fit for your client or just to kickstart your imagination.

Write and tell us the cues you come up with and why!  We’d love to feature your ideas in our posts!  Mail to:

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