Modifications & Cueing
Your number one priority as a coach is to keep your members safe, while achieving a fun, challenging and effective workout. To do so, you must be confident and committed to giving members form coaching and modifications.
A great ALT coach understands the main priority in a group training session is their ability to cue and modify each exercise whilst making members feel empowered.
The feeling of having a personal coach in a group setting is achievable and it’s the attention that we need to deliver to each member.
When making corrections, you’ll want to consider that people have different learning styles and will need you to correct them in a way that best suits their needs. Three communication styles that you will employ:
- Verbal – Audibly explain what to do and how to get there. Always approach with a confident but positive and caring tone.
- Visual – Physically demonstrate form and technique. This is a highly effective tool and sometimes the quickest way to get a fast result. Particularly effective during break or rest periods as well as targeted at a group or multiple people.
- Kinaesthetic – Hands-on approach to adjust or manipulate form. Appropriately using touch to reference to a particular position and or area can be very effective. A great example is the set position of the lower back in hinge-based movements.
High Leverage Cues
To make efficient corrections, you want to consider which improvements will have the highest leverage change. In other words, if you were to change only one element, which adjustment would have the most overall effect on the member’s form?
Sometimes, changing one thing, like moving into an athletic base (hip break) during an overhead press, will fix secondary issues, such as the lower back going into extension, dumbbell or barbell path preventing poor shoulder position and impingement and the ability to utilise some momentum under fatigue.
An 80% cue is a cue that will offer mechanical improvement to about 80% proficiency. A 20% cue will take a person from 80% to 100% proficiency. Once the 80% cue has been mastered, 20% cues will provide the last stepping stone toward perfection.
A simple way to interpret this is:
- 80% cues turn a beginner into advanced. These are our foundational cues around each movement that are commonly repeated and reiterated to members.
- 20% cues turn advanced into elite. Providing progression and challenge to movements and a higher level of understanding to our advanced members. This rule is particularly useful when differentiating cues between an advanced member and a novice who needs to focus on the basics of the movement first.
Communicating Your Cues
Here are a few suggestions to help your communication land effectively: –
- Sandwich Feedback Technique. Come in with a positive comment (You’re doing really well BUT). > Correction and explanation (“I want you to stand up, reset and start from the top. Make sure you maintain the slight arch in your lower back, that will protect you through the movement”.) > Positive feedback (“Perfect, that’s it, stay with it, great job”)
- Be Confident, Clear and Concise. The buy in and fast result in session will be determined by your level of confidence in your approach and language. Believe in your knowledge and understanding and have confidence that your priorities to provide proper coaching and cueing is more important than the potential ego of the member. Never doubt that or yourself and let your practice in session demonstrate this.
- DIRECT. Practice makes perfect. The art of coaching starts with a well-rounded and developed database of cues. Nail an effective template for all movements and you will be a master on the floor in any given session. Utilise these methods, be confident and take control.
Controlling Room Rotations
No one enjoys feeling lost and confused, so it is crucial that coaches are constantly communicating about how the room should rotate. This starts with a clear and direct introduction.
Every program has its own rotation pattern based on the layout and pod numbers, so please view the workout information for specifics.
Here is an example of rotations for the Phoenix workout:
- 6 Pods, 3 stations per pod. You will complete 2 laps of each pod. Within the round: Station 1 rotates to station 2, Station 2 rotates to station 3 Station 3 rotates to station.
After the hydration and recovery break:
- Pod 1 rotates to pod 2, Pod 2 rotates to pod 3, Pod 3 rotates to pod 4, Pod 4 rotates to pod 5, Pod 5 rotates to pod 6 and Pod 6 rotates to pod 1.
New Pod Stations:
- Members will rotate laterally from the station they last completed. If a member finished the round at station 3, they rotate to station 6. If a member finished the round at station 6, they rotate to station 9. If a member finishes the round at station 9, they rotate to station 12 and so on.
Ways you can help control the rotation:
- Constantly reminding the room in between stations.
- Cueing members pre-end of sets or during sets, where to go directly.
- Identifying key areas where a member will go from one side of the room to the other and directing them to avoid confusion.
- Stand in between pods to make sure that no one crosses over prematurely in between sets.
- Let members know where they will rotate to after the hydration break, before the end of the round.