by Hilary Opheim
Link to original: https://www.hilaryopheim.com/blogpilates/2020/3/4/6-tips-to-stay-motivated-as-a-pilates-teacher
Do you ever feel like as a Pilates teacher that you’re on that hamster wheel just furiously pumping those legs and spinning around the same wheel every day, around this little circle over and over? How do you stay motivated as a Pilates teacher year after year, month after month or even day by day? Being a Pilates teacher takes a lot of energy and a lot of focus every hour you’re working with your client. Teaching for well over 25 years I have found a few tips that I would like to share with you on how to stay motivated teaching Pilates.
Staying motivated can be hard under the best of circumstances so how do you stay motivated when your clients call and cancel at the last minute or come to their session in a bad mood or you’re running late and got stuck in traffic? This is a question I get a lot from students in my Teacher Training Program and also from teachers who have been teaching for years that come into my Mentorship Program with this same issue. There’s really no magic answer but it is something that as a teacher you can tap into. With a few tips to keep in your toolbox as a teacher, you have the ability to create that motivation and keep your teaching career fresh and recharged every day!
Keeping motivated can be difficult but it also has nothing to do with not loving your job teaching Pilates. You got into teaching because you love being around people, you love helping people, and you love the work, however, the day by day as you teach can make that motivation or that passion dwindle or get lost and suddenly you realize your day is a little like that hamster wheel running. Loving your job should keep you motivated right? The reality is that it just isn’t enough to keep you going.
The tips I’m going to share with you to keep you motivated have come to me over the years, but I remember the real moment in my teaching career where I questioned myself “ am I doing what I should be doing?”. I had lost the motivation and had no idea when or how. I felt like I was just spinning the wheel and I wondered “is this it? is this all I’m going to get out of my teaching? is this what it is going to be every day?”
I realized as I was teaching I had a full schedule, I was in a studio with other teachers around and I took workshops, but I realized it wasn’t enough and I found myself a little lost. I knew I loved my clients and I loved teaching but why did I feel like everything was this struggle? I found myself in this routine that the joy in my day wasn’t there all the time.
Is it even realistic to think that teaching and your job should have joy in it all the time? For me to answer had to be yes, that was the whole reason I got into Pilates. It gave me joy seeing those moments for my clients where they connected, grew or got challenged. So how is it that you keep that joy every moment every hour every day as you teach?
Here are some tips to keep you motivated throughout your Pilates career
1. Surround yourself with like-minded teachers– Spend time with teachers in the studio who share your philosophy and passion. If you have a home studio take time each week to go visit and spend time around those teachers. You will pick up on the energy of others, and feed off the other teachers as they work.
2. Have your own session each week– I tell this to every student that comes into my Programs, new teacher and experienced. There is nothing like having your own personal Pilates session each week. Be the client, do the work, be taught. To feel that work, get it for yourself and have that hour will remind you each week why you love Pilates.
3. Continuing learning with specialized work– Doing workshops is great but, maybe commit to a long weekend of learning one subject that speaks to you as a teacher or fills a void for you. Maybe search out a Mentor who has something to offer you at this moment and study with them. Doing a really deep dive into a subject can refocus and motivate you in a very profound way
4. Have long term and short term goals for your teaching– You have goals for your clients why not yourself? Think about what you want to achieve in your teaching career for the year and also what do you need or want in the next few months? How can you get there? Set those goals and start that journey to them.
5. Have a personal reward system– Give yourself a treat every so often. Take a fellow teacher out for coffee and enjoy the day or go get that new workout gear to wear next week. Maybe something as simple as
6. Each day write down one good thing that happened in your teaching day– Even on the days where you think nothing went right. That session wasn’t what you wanted for the client or the client questioned everything you said. Take a moment at the end of your day, maybe in a journal and just write a sentence or 2 of one good thing that happened. I promise you will find one even if it is as simple as “My client Susie was curious about everything we did today, she is really trying to understand” (a whole other way of looking at the questioning client, yes?)
Staying motivated takes work just like becoming a Pilates teacher and you have the tools and ability to keep that going for your Teaching career and for your clients. Maybe just taking a few of these tips or mixing them up every so often will be the little thing that gets that back for you what was missing in keeping you off that hamster wheel.