Guidelines to Teaching a Session

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Tuesday 14th of November 2023 Hadyn Luke 14/11/2023


Guidelines to Teaching a Session

Instructing, teaching or coaching are terms used to refer to the way in which someone communicates information and knowledge to someone else.

To be a successful teacher you need to be:

  • Knowledgeable: have a good understanding of what you are teaching. This should be based on current guidelines relating to good practice on exercise technique, training systems, how to adapt or progress an exercise or programme.
  • Good at communicating: the ability to pass on your knowledge in a manner than can be easily understood.
  • Patient and understanding: be empathetic, some people will find learning a new skill hard. Be prepared to keep showing or saying the same thing several times without becoming impatient. Vary teaching style/approach according to your client’s motivational requirements.

Successful Teaching

There are four basic steps to successful teaching:

  1. Giving information on technique and safety.
  2. Checking that the information has been understood.
  3. Responding should the information have been misunderstood or has elicited an inappropriate response.
  4. Encouraging learning to occur.

Stage 1: Giving information on technique and safety

As an instructor you will give information on technique verbally using teaching points, and visually by giving a demonstration. A demonstration allows the client to watch whilst verbal information allows you to explain what each part of the body is doing at each stage of the exercise. The client should be reminded of the teaching points for each activity/exercise through the session.

Stage 2: Checking that the information has been understood

Once you have delivered the information verbally or visually you then have to check that it has been understood. If the client is able to do the exercise successfully, then it has. If not you will have to give more information, teaching points, and, possibly, more demonstration until they are able to perform correctly.

Stage 3: Responding if the information has been misunderstood or inappropriate

If you see any errors or difficulties you must take the appropriate action. This might mean reminding your client of the technique required, or re-phasing it so that they understand – by giving more demonstrations, explanations and drawing their attention to the error by showing the error.

Offer them an alternative means of carrying out the exercise, or offer an alternative exercise that achieves the same outcome. You will need show empathy and patience in order to ensure the client remains motivated.

Stage 4: Encouraging learning to occur

Reinforcing technique and posture points at intervals to remind your client of the technique you want. Give them praise when they are successful so that they recognise and remember what the correct technique is for the future.

These stages can be easily implemented through the use of the ROAR acronym:

  • Repeat: Repeat set up instructions, safety points and techniques.
  • Observe: Observe the client’s technique from the appropriate angles to check that the client has fully understood.
  • Ask: Ask questions and get some feedback i.e. “Are you warmer, “Can you feel the stretch here?”, Is this exercise too easy for you etc. Their responses will allow you to respond appropriately.
  • Reinforce: Reinforce technique and coaching points at regular intervals.

Subscribe to the blog

Interested in becoming a personal trainer
or sports massage therapist?

Leave your details below and a member of the
CMS team will contact you shortly.