Motivating the Motivator
Encouraging, motivating, supportive and instructive. That’s what we, as Pilates professionals, are for hours on end, day after day. While we thrive on teaching our clients and watching them grow with the Method and seeing their bodies transform, this business can be draining. Being energetic and “on” all the time without recharging our own batteries is a recipe for exhaustion…and boredom.
Signs of boredom at work are fairly obvious:
- Not wanting to go in to the studio
- Experiencing general malaise
- Being snappy at co-workers or clients
- Repeating exercises that have become stale to you.
Before you decide to chuck your training out the window and become an accountant, try some of these motivating techniques on yourself.
- Develop Exchange Students: Just as it is healthy for your clients to occasionally work with other instructors, it is just as beneficial for you to experience a new student. Find an instructor you respect and with whom you have similar teaching backgrounds and do an “Exchange Week”. For one week, take his or her clients and she will take your students. The students will have the chance to hear new cues or experience a different flow and you will have the opportunity to work on new bodies. Be sure to know the clients’ health histories before the exchange.
- Train a new type of client: If you regularly work with dancers, see if you can train some athletes or seniors.
- Get involved: How many times a week do you take a class from another instructor? Do a few sessions with someone you trust to check your form and to push you the way you challenge your students.
- Try a completely different form of exercise: Shake up your muscle memory. Take something new to you like Belly dancing or try weight lifting. Bring your perfect Pilates form and move your body in a whole new way.
- Take a seminar or webinar: Cross-country conferences are wonderful, but expensive. Online resources (see Kelley Ranaudo’s article on Pilates from the Comfort of Your Home) for some in-home webinar options. There are also seminars within driving distance of most metropolitan areas. Don’t be afraid if the seminar is from a differing certifying organization than your own. Step outside your common knowledge and see what Polestar, West Coast, or Classical Pilates has to offer. You’ll learn fresh perspectives and differing variations on exercise themes.
All instructors can use a gentle push to re-energize themselves. If you can find a way to challenge your current Pilates regime or thought-process, you might find something new that excites you again. You will benefit and your clients will as well.