Everybody knows about the mad dash to the gym the moment the new year hits. We are hard pressed really to find anyone who doesn’t put their fitness goals to the top of the list post holiday indulgence. As fitness professionals we love this time of year of packed classes full of eager and inspired faces. The trick is how do we get them to stay? Here are some tips to keep the momentum flowing for all your participants all year long.
- Arrive early. Yes, I know we hear this all the time but that’s because it is so important! Arriving early gives our students the opportunity to talk to us about the class, their concerns, level of difficulty, injuries they may be worried about etc. privately before class begins. It settles their nerves when they feel confident in our ability to coach them through poses and exercises that they feel intimidated by. Even if all you talk about is the weather, know that your students appreciate this one on one time with you.
- Get to know your students. Sure names can be challenging to remember, but we know who our regulars and biggest fans are. Before or after class is a perfect time to ask them about their fitness goals, their family or their work. Compliment them on their work in class and share something about yourself. People crave connection and often this is the reason they have chosen a class environment over a solo workout on the gym floor.
- Buddy up new people with your regulars. As per above, buddying up your new students with your more seasoned regulars is a wonderful way to build community inside your classes. You may be amazed by the friendships that develop. Your regular students feel important, your newer students feel less intimidated – it’s a win-win!
- Cater to everyone in the room. As we often say at YogaFit, the one with the most options wins. Everybody is different and so everyone will need and want different things from class. In a Yoga class, some come for strength training, some for flexibility and some for stress relief. Prepare for your classes by reviewing different options that you can offer and also for a variety of poses to provide challenge for our students both physically and mentally from week to week.
- Use inclusive language. Why do students keep coming back to the same classes every week? Because they feel a sense of community, a shared sense of well being with the group and with you as their instructor. We can nurture this by using positive language and choosing words that reflect inclusivity like: we, let’s, ours, together or team. How we communicate with our students is more important then anything else. Choose your words wisely and take time to script for new cues.