In a previous posting, I wrote about these “unwritten” rules because I believed they should be written and honored by indoor cycling instructors. Just when I thought I covered it all, I interacted with a few instructors over the past few weeks that left me wondering and somewhat puzzled. Here is the second of these rules:
Instructor to Instructor Rule 1: Don’t hog all of your classes
This may be controversial. But I have known instructors who have taught a specific time slot for the past five years without interruption. While that is commendable and reflects consistency, I would suggest that you allow for yourself to be subbed once or twice per quarter (probably 4 times a years). For example, if you teach the 6pm Tuesday spot, you would have about 50 classes a year (+/- 3 based on holidays). By allowing your fellow instructors to sub 8% of your classes, you are “keeping the product fresh”. And, honestly there is no risk of losing your audience. Why you may ask? Here is why: when you have been teaching the same spot for 5 years in a row, you have commanded (and earned) a loyal following. You are an uber instructor whose students will reschedule their own birthdays so as not to miss your class!! So, yes, there is no risk if you let another instructor cover for you once in a blue moon.
Instructor to Instructor Rule 2: Ask me to sub, but don’t sabotage the class
I recently subbed for one of the instructors aforementioned in Rule 1. I knew that her classes are always packed: 25-30 riders. With such numbers, I thought I would see some riders come in 10mins early to setup. Didn’t happen! I didn’t think much of it and still expected to see at least 20 riders. Guess what….only 6 showed up for class. I did teach the class and at the end had a chance to talk to one of the riders. I then knew why there were so few riders. It turns out the instructor was busy emailing and texting her loyal following the previous week to tell them that she won’t be at that time spot and someone else is teaching. She also explicitly told them not to come…I saw the text message! I was shocked! Really?!!! You would do such a thing? Wow, just when I thought I have seen it all…
Self-preservation be dammed – this is simply unprofessional. And, for the same reasons as in Rule 1, you are NOT going to lose any audience to me. Needless to say, I will never sub for that instructor ever again.
Instructor to Instructor Rule 3: Collaborate
This is not high-school. This is the age of collaboration, social media, smart phones, etc. Don’t hold all your cards so close!! On occasion, share with your fellow instructors a sample of your playlists, your Spotify or SoundClound selections as well as any new information you gather from workshops, conferences or continuing education. When you share, you enrich the rest of us who will always be grateful and appreciative. We will also return the favor – it’s natural.
Instructor to Instructor Rule 4: Promote one another
Hey it doesn’t hurt for you to announce in your class that there are other indoor cycling sessions taught by your fellow instructors. We appreciate that and we will reciprocate. We all benefit from a bit of shameless promotion, right? Again, have no fear, you uber instructors out there, because as noted in Rule 1, you will not lose any of your loyal following.
Got it? Good!