How can I get the most out of my private lessons?
If you want to get better fast, there really is nothing better than a private lesson. But what many people don’t fully understand is that a private lesson is not a group class with only one person; a private class is a completely different beast.
In a group class you are more or less at the will of the herd and the pace and structure of a class are often driven by it’s lowest common denominators. In a group class it can be good to have some personal goals but in general you must relinquish your individual needs for the good of the whole. You can’t really stop group class in the middle of someone else’s turn because you want to talk wheel theory. A group class offers a great opportunity to learn by watching others (and here is a real pro life tip: learn by watching your coach teach other people! You can learn so much by watching/listening to the way you instructor works with everyone else in your class. The way they spot a trick lets you know where the dangers are, the verbal cuing lets you know which are the most important steps, the things the coach is watching for should be the things you are also aware of. If you have a great coach you will often learn as much (if not more) watching them teach your peers as you did when you had their full attention. I could say much more about this, but I digress :).
If a group class is a public pool, then a private lesson is a secluded room with a very custom hot tub. I think it is this “customizableness” that overwhelms people. We are used to our coach setting the temperature in the pool, so when it is up to us to decide we often suffer choice paralysis. Don’t freak out, if you are gonna shell out the $$$ for a private lesson then do yourself a favor, take a breath, and put in a little prep work. Make sure the temperature and all the little jets for your hot tub are in the right place. You know what I mean? In a private lesson you can set the pace: if you want to spend the whole time working on one trick, great! This is exactly the place to do that. Ask all the questions you want. All those crazy questions you knew you didn’t have time to really get into in a general class, now is the time to let Koo Koo’s fly! Allow yourself to hyper-focus on that one little thing that hasn’t quite clicked yet. Even if you want to spend your time trying a bunch of new things you need a really heavy spot for, fan-flippin-tastic! Bring in a video, make a list, check it twice. If you show up to your private lesson with a list of stuff you want to work on, or questions you have, your couch will be delighted. A private lesson is exactly what the name implies: it is private and it is all about you so embrace that and put a little forethought into what you want to work on.
I promise if you put a little prep work into your next private lesson, not only will you get much more out of the experience, but your instructor will love it. No coach likes to show up to a private lesson and have the student look at us blankly and say “What do YOU think I should work on”. That is what we do every group class. A private lesson is your time to be the navigator, let us know where you want to focus. This helps your coach understand what your personal training goals are, and how to help you better not just in this one lesson, but for your entire wheel career. Help us help you.