A couple weeks ago, I submitted an article draft that made me sound terrified and lacking confidence. The subject was “what your fitness instructor is thinking,” and I rattled off all sorts of anecdotes that, while wonderfully humorous as always, made me sound unsure of myself in the fitness space.
The truth is that sometimes I am unsure of myself in the life space, and I happened to write that article in the midst of one of those times. I was out of town and dealing with marriage woes (things are still managing to stay on track if you’re interested) and I wasn’t able to tap into the confident part of me that day.
Needless to say I wrote a different article, but that original draft made me think of the difference in introverted vs. extroverted teaching styles. I believe that both styles have their place and that as an introvert you can be equally successful in teaching anything you so desire. Since this is a health and fitness blog, however, I will spend my focus on that by offering you the introvert’s guide to fitness instruction.
Group fitness instruction may come easier to extroverted people. They thrive being around others and actually gain more energy from those interactions, whereas introverted people tend to tire more quickly in similar situations. The important thing for introverts is to make sure that you have enough balance. Make sure to allocate time for activities that allow you to recharge and don’t overload yourself with activities that may drain you.
As long as you are recharged and ready to go, there is no reason why an extroverted personality would be a better fitness instructor. Just keep these tips in mind when teaching:
While making connections with EVERYONE in the room is going to be near impossible, make sure that you take the time to talk to at least one or two people each class. If you do this every time you teach, you will be sure to quickly learn who comes to your class and make those connections. Also make sure to introduce yourself and reach out to brand new attendees so that they feel comfortable.
Fake it till you make it
The only way people know if you are nervous is if you show them. By acting confident and excited to start class, you will be surprised at how quickly you actually are. Put on a smile and act like the most amazing instructor you know and soon you’ll probably end up being that instructor!
Make an awesome playlist
I get really excited by good workout music. A couple months ago I signed up for Spotify so that I could make class playlists and it has made a world of difference! Before, I would use the stock playlists that were offered, but once I started bringing in my own music I found myself notably more excited to teach class.
If you respond well to music, spend some time creating your own playlists. You will be surprised at how certain songs can make you start jumping on rowing machines and inspire you to push people a little harder.
Think about others
Remember why you are an instructor in the first place. You want to help other people focus on improving themselves. Rather than getting caught up in your own feelings, think about theirs. The more you focus on other people, the more rewarding the experience will be for both of you.
Just do it!
As an introverted person, I often have to put myself in uncomfortable situations. In order to make new connections and relationships, I often go way outside of my comfort zone by arranging meetings and making myself known. The same goes for fitness instruction.
I know that I am passionate about health and fitness and I can’t let my fears hold me back from trying to make a difference in the lives of other people. Often the hardest thing is just to get out there and do what is not comfortable. I find that even if my life is crazy, once I put on that microphone and focus on improving the health of others for an hour, I quickly remember how important it is and that shows through my instruction.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- If you teach classes, what are some of your tips?