To provide a bit of a backstory, I initially opened up my private studio with the full intention of teaching most of the sessions myself. When I got busy enough I would hire another instructor to help me maximize the time in the studio. Well, I got busy REAL fast and was scrambling to find a qualified instructor to help me with the demand. Good problem, right? I also suffered plantar fasciitis after one month of teaching up to 10 sessions per day. I was never injured before and I felt like this was my body's way of screaming out me to slow down, sit down, and to find the support I needed.
Over the next two years I hired many instructors to help me out. One thing they all had in common was lots of experience in teaching and impressive credentials. Unfortunately, I always ran into issues on the business side. It seemed as if they didn't value the little things required in our high end business. I was constantly chasing them to ensure they charged and booked their clients in the system, followed up to see how their clients were feeling, created a personal experience with each relationship they had, and connected with the trainers and staff at the gym. While I wasn't physically teaching a session I was spending my time doing damage control. I found myself comping sessions and constantly "making things right" for our clients. I knew this had to end. How would this brand ever grow if for every step forward we took two back?
When I returned from maternity leave I lost my all star instructor. He moved on to an amazing opportunity and would no longer be teaching Pilates. This is when I started putting my feelers out. What if I found people that already were strong in the categories where Pilates Body was lacking? I knew for certain that I could teach Pilates. Clearly I couldn't teach the other stuff or my previous staff would have excelled. So I gave it a shot!
I mentioned the program to three candidates that really stood out to me. Within one or two conversations with each of them they were IN. I was ecstatic! I started to develop my program immediately. I worked all night while Ace slept to create a manual the apprentices could hold onto forever. I knew I wanted them to learn the entire classical repertoire in the classical order, but I also wanted them to learn the Pilates Body method. I added in discussions about sales, imagery & cueing, injuries, pathologies, culture, and the MOST important skill: empathy.
We met one weekend per month for 5 months. We covered the beginner, intermediate and advanced classical Pilates repertoire on the mat, reformer, tower and chair. Then we covered Pilates using the jumpboard, trx, HyperVibe and learned how to use a peanut or lacrosse ball and foam roller to perform myofascial release. These new instructors had ALL the tools I have added to my box in the last five years. Between their weekend workshops they completed a required amount of self practice, practice teaching and observation hours. They tested out of each module as they completed their required hours. They were READY. Each time they tested out their sessions were better and they seemed more confident. They are now each busy with their own regular clients and group fitness classes at Anatomy.
This program is now in its second round with two incredible women. It has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments I have gone after in my career. These instructors trusted me to teach them how to succeed. They soaked up everything I had to offer them and have each created their own style that continuously inspires and moves me. Our team is strong. We support each other, respect each other and we will move mountains together.
If you have a gift to share, share it. What I do everyday is so much more than "teach Pilates". I introduce people to a new part of their life that they realize they don't want to live without. Rather than limiting that to my own clients, I passed this gift along. It was a huge undertaking that was and is worth it and continues to increase in value. This process was a reminder that I can do anything I put my mind (and effort) towards.