As a Pilates teacher, when teaching your clients you have goals for them in their Pilates session. Pilates teachers want clients to not only understand what Pilates is and what Pilates can do for them but as a Pilates teacher, you want to create a more balanced body for them, help them get the most movement possible for them. In other words, you want them to feel better and see the changes for themselves. Most Pilates teachers came to teaching to make people feel better. For many Pilates teachers, Pilates may have helped them feel strong and free of injury or pain and they want to show that to their clients in their body.
Sometimes when teaching there are moments that the client may say something that takes all those goals away for you as a Teacher.
I was teaching a client just the other day. She had been out of state taking different classes and I hadn’t seen her in a few weeks. She also is 74 years old and doing amazing in her movement and strength. You would never guess she was 74! We had just started our session and she was doing the Hundred and she stopped and said: “oh that was not good was it?” I was shocked as a. She is 74 and doing the work b. There was nothing wrong with what she had been doing. The next 20 minutes it was the same. We would be on the Reformer and again she would apologize or want to start it again to make it “better”. I watched as an observer for a bit and finally as we made our way to the Cadillac I said “ok, so with what we are doing next I want you to just feel the work and move. When you are done with it you are going to tell me something you did great within that moment”. She looked at me and seemed confused but said “ok”. We did Legsprings and as I removed her straps I looked at her and just waited. She then paused and said, “ I was really firing into my arms!” After that our workout was back on track and her mood and movement were much better.
I have found 3 heartbreaking words that clients sometimes can fall into the trap and use. My clients know these words are NOT allowed in the studio or our sessions.
These are the 3 top heartbreaking words:
“I CAN”T!” - “I can’t do that” Really? There is no can’t in Pilates as Yoda would say “There is only DO!” There is no reason unless your mind stops you that you can’t do anything. Yes, it may not be pretty or the picture-perfect version of what the client thinks or wants to accomplish. It may be a struggle, it may be messy BUT as a Teacher, I am not going to give them something they can’t do. We as teachers build our clients and give them tools to go where they can and are able to go. We aren’t going to throw something at them that they physically can’t do for a reason of ability, strength or due to some physical limitation or issue.
“I’m Sorry!”- There is no apologizing in Pilates. Why? Well, there is just no doing anything wrong. Now, if the client did something that would make them or the Teacher unsafe yes, that is wrong but, in terms of their workout? No wrong! It is what it is that day and everyone is different and every day is different for our mind and body. If something is a struggle or challenge that is ok. That is how we grow, get stronger physically and mentally. If that Teaser is messy and then goes somewhere unexpected that is ok, there is no sorry it is just where we went that day.
‘‘I need to do that over” or “ Let me do that again”- Nope! Keep going, there is no REWIND button in Pilates. It takes a few times for the body and mind to figure things out sometimes. It is ok to keep going and see what happens!
When your client falls into one of these traps take control and take that wheel and send them down a different road. It will change the work for the client, It will change the session for you in your teaching.
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