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Top Tips: Connection

We know that people have a basic need to belong and to feel connected to other people and experiences. Over the last three issues of Connect, our TAPAS Team (Trainer and Presenter and Assessor teams) have shared their tips on choreography, technique and coaching. Now we reach the heart – the element that covers Connection.

Connection can only happen if you are on top of the other three elements. If you’re stuck in your head counting reps or stressing about what’s coming up next, you’ll miss opportunities to connect with your members. And when should you connect with your members? All the time! Connection must happen before, during and after the class.

Connection is when it becomes all about the people in front of you. How are you going to create a class that no-one wants to miss? Consider group exercise without connection. No-one wants to go to a class where the instructor is not interested in the people in front of them! Group exercise would cease to exist:

“Take care of yourself. We connect best, with genuine respect and care, when we are happy and healthy. When we are unwell, tired, over worked or stressed it is very difficult to put others first. Sometimes we do have to teach under these circumstances, it's the challenge of our job and being responsible, but perhaps these times we can focus on some of the other Key Elements i.e. if I am tired I tend to be cranky (yes, believe it or not!!) so I acknowledge this and try focus on super clear Layer 1 Coaching and then let the music speak (Performance). When I am well rested and super happy about something, I try share these genuine feelings and apply all the Connection tools.” – Shelley Townsend, BODYVIVE Head Program Coach, BODYSTEP & BODYBALANCE Trainer/Presenter

“Connection, comes from the heart. Learn names and find out what the goals of the people that are coming to your class are. Be genuinely interested in the people in front of [you].” – Nick Heng, BODYBALANCE Presenter

“Get to know your members, be there early, be approachable and open to requests [and] feedback [so] you can tailor your coaching to their needs.”– Leigh Sherry, CXWORX & BODYSTEP Trainer/Presenter

“Become confident with making eye contact…it can be scary to start with, especially when you're new to being in front of a big group of people or you're a lot younger than a bunch of the people in your class. It makes people feel a lot more included and like they are really a part of the experience.” – Genevieve Rebbechi, BODYJAM, SHB’AM & BORN TO MOVE Trainer/Presenter

“Be yourself. Allow your personality to come through with your coaching when you're on stage. It's easy to get nervous when you're on stage, but you also don't want to sound like a monotone robot, either. Be you. Your class participants are there to see you and experience whatever it is that makes you stand out from the others.” Josh Wilms, SH’BAM & BODYJAM Presenter

“Personally, I like to farewell everyone as they leave the class, so as soon as the class finishes I stand by the door and say goodbye to everyone. If possible, I try to note something positive that each participant did during the class, and compliment them on it: increasing weights, working at a higher intensity, taking the initiative on an option that works for them, or sometimes just showing up!” – Alex Clark, GRIT, RPM & SPRINT Presenter