Client Focused Programing
Creating a client focused programming style is the evolution of planning for me. This development in my planning style has been directly influenced by both my personal and professional growth.
The significant professional growth that stands out to me was during my Level 2 Reformer Certification. By 2017 I had over 15 years of Personal Training experience, yet I found myself lacking confidence as a “Pilates Instructor.” That left me creating plans from a place of insecurity.
Let’s consider Evolution of Planning: Phase ONE
From this place of insecurity I was creating plans with a detail I hadn’t used since I was a newly certified Personal Trainer.
I would spend considerable time outlining every exercise, in precise detail, including pictures!
My notes went as far as including detailed cues, what springs to use and various modifications for every situation I could imagine. It didn’t take me long to realize this type of planning was simply not sustainable. I was losing the most important aspect of planning, the people!
Thankfully, coupled with this professional growth, I found myself with an opportunity for major personal growth. This opportunity came in the form of retiring from 40 years of managing a Pediatric Dental Practice. It is no easy feat to make a decision to move from guaranteed security to a more risky role, however, I took the dive!
For the first time in my life, I choose me!
I saw an opportunity to fulfill my life long passion and chose to dedicate myself as a full-time instructor.
So there I was, trying to embrace a new style of training, while increasing both the number of classes I was teaching as well as working with more clients on an individual basis.
Now entering Evolution of Planning: Phase TWO
My goal at this point: to feel organized while meeting the needs and expectations of my new, larger client base.
I shifted my planning and transformed my full page notes onto small recipe cards.
In “teeny tiny writing”, to quote one of my clients, I continued to include as many details as possible. I wrote on recipe cards for every class with the intention of helping myself stay focused, providing myself with a reference point, personal security and confidence.
Let’s pause here for personal growth reflection. Have I left Phase ONE?
Phase ONE of my planning style had a few major draw backs. All the details triggered an internal fear of missing a step or changing the order. I was spending an unbelievable amount of time writing out my plans and I was feeling a lack of connection with the people in front of me.
To answer my previous question,
No. I had not left Phase ONE, not really. But Phase TWO proved to be an important stepping stone.
I am great at watching, teaching and adapting to the changing needs of the clients in front of me, yet in my Phase TWO I was still blocking myself from relying on my years of professional experience.
Sometimes the best laid plans are not always for the best, and apparently my “teeny tiny writing” strategy didn’t feed my confidence. Instead, it emphasized my reoccurring theme of feeling a lack of connection with the people.
Our 2019 summer break gave me the time I needed to reflect and consider the evolution of my planning and how I could readjust my thinking.
Here’s where I landed in the development of my planning:
Evolution of Planning: Phase THREE
I began Phase Three by writing a list of movement themes. From there, I began developing a list of exercises to attain the goals of these themes, sometimes we call these build-ups, family of exercises or vignettes. I still use the recipe
cards to help me feel organized and prepared for the classes. However, I left out the extreme details and contingency plans.
I began choosing to trust my experience, instinct and the intelligence of the person in front of me.
This gave me space to create a class that flows and can change based on what I was observing in the moment.
My confidence was growing.
New decade. New Phase.
Evolution of Planning: Phase FOUR
The 2019 Christmas break gave space for me to regenerate before preparing for 2020 clients.
This phase in the development of my planning process was set in place before we left for our cottage. There I spent a glorious week reading, colouring, walking with my family, watching movies and sleeping!
So far in 2020, I have continued to use themes for each week. I have divided a book into Reformer and Mat class sections. Each week I record ideas for the various themes. I create my ideas in a more organic and free form.
This ignites a creativity that feels more natural and less forced. Thus allowing me to be fully focused on the client(s) in front of me.
My goals during evolution of planning, Phase FOUR and beyond are to permit myself space to continue my personal and professional development as an instructor and in turn provide quality, client focused classes and private sessions.