Hi, future Pilates instructors! Emily here, PPF co-founder and Head of Instructor Education.
It can be quite daunting registering for an intensive Pilates course and never having met the trainer who you are going to spend long days with! Therefore, Kim and I thought we would introduce ourselves first, so you get to know a bit about us as well as a rare insight into a Pilates instructor training course!
I am currently on maternity leave with my second kid, so PPF manager Kim is taking our instructor training for the remainder of 2021; you are in GREAT hands!
A bit of background about Kim: Kim had taught group fitness for many years when she fell in love with Pilates in 2015. By 2016 she was teaching Pilates full time and loving every minute. Kim has helped thousands of clients move their body, calm their mind and live life to the fullest with her Pilates instructing. I interviewed Kim to give you a behind the scenes exclusive look into the PPF Instructor training!
What are a few tips for future students to take on board during their training?
Kim: My best tips are to listen and watch. Take the information that you are given in the training, then use this as you observe and participate in classes to see how a class reacts to cues, corrections, class flows etc. Use the experience of other instructors as you evolve your own style. Watch as clients respond to other instructors and note what works well and what doesn’t. And be open to feedback – a solid foundation sets you up well, but be willing to evolve across your instructing lifetime.
What traits of a student stand out in the instructor training?
Kim: My favourite students are the ones who start very shy and introspective – they don’t give very much away and you wonder how they will cope standing up in front of a class and commanding attention. And then you realise that they are observing EVERYTHING! They listen and absorb all the information, but they also observe what cues work well, what moves flow well, what teaching style gets the best response – and once they have gathered and assimilated all their knowledge, they stand confident at the front of their peers and shine!
We’d love to know why you made Pilates your full time job!?
Kim: First of all, I love to talk – so this is absolutely the best job for me! But more importantly, I wanted to make a difference. I felt in all my previous corporate jobs that I was such a small fish and ultimately I was working myself into the ground to make someone else rich. What I really wanted to do is make a difference – and now every day, I go to “work” teaching my classes and for that moment in time, those class participants are forgetting their cares and responsibilities, and doing something that helps their body and mind for both the short term and the long term – and in my own way, I do get to make a BIG difference to those people around me.
What is your favourite part of teaching students to become instructors?
Kim: My absolute favourite part is watching the students’ confidence grow – you can actually see the shift from day to day in the training. On day one, they are questioning what they are doing there and comparing themselves to the others in the room. By the end of the training, you can see their personalities starting to shine through as they practice their teaching. No longer are they just repeating the cues word for word, they are understanding what they are saying, understanding how what they say impacts those doing their class, and feeling confident enough to introduce their own personal touch – it is so wonderful to watch them evolve!
What advice could you give a potential student who is nervous to do a Pilates course?
Kim: What is the absolute worst thing that could happen? Even if you don’t end up teaching Pilates, you have learned so much that will improve your own personal practice immensely. However, with the support of the trainer and the fellow students, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you CAN instruct and that first step will open doors to so many amazing opportunities you will be so glad you took the plunge.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat Kim!
Kim also interviewed me, to repay the favour!
A bit about me: I created the Premium Pilates and Fitness teacher training courses back in 2015-2016. During my years of teaching Pilates, clients would fall in love with the discipline and ask me how they could become an instructor. I felt a strong desire to teach and share my knowledge and passion for the fitness regime that has changed my life, both mentally and physically. I took all the skills I had learnt from many Pilates training courses and workshops to create the Premium Pilates and Fitness way of teaching!
What skills (other than the ability to teach Pilates) do you hope students take away from the courses?
Em: I hope my students improve their confidence, public speaking skills, communication strategies, problem solving and planning skills, and ability to relate, encourage and motivate others. A major part of my courses involve learning how to modify exercises for discomfort, injuries and pregnancy and postnatal bodies, therefore, my students learn to think on their feet, to adapt quickly, to be flexible and to understand how the body works in movement. The PPF courses will challenge you to go out of your comfort zone, but will also provide you with skills to further connect with your clients.
What are the avenues for Pilates students when they complete the PPF courses?
Em: There's so many directions they can take! Past students of mine have set up their own Pilates studios, some work full time in an office and instruct Pilates on the side as their passion projects, other students of mine work full time in the Pilates industry, splitting their hours between instructing, marketing and administration. Other students of mine purely used the Pilates training to improve their own Pilates practice, as they love Pilates and wanted a deeper understanding the discipline.
What is one of your favourite things about the courses you created?
Em: I love that so many of my students become friends during and after the courses! There is such a sense of camaraderie in the courses; the students support each other during every assessment, they cheer each other on and there is no ego whatsoever. When I created these courses I wanted to create a like minded community of Pilates instructors who would encourage each other and continue learning together and this has organically happened.
Why are we seeing more and more people turn to careers in health & fitness?
Em: The fitness industry is expanding more every single day, as people around the world learn to make their mental health and physical wellbeing a priority, particularly during a pandemic! I think due to covid, people have realised that life is short and that they want to spend it doing what they love and are passionate about. For so many people their passion involves moving their bodies, helping and inspiring others, connecting with people and staying mentally and physically healthy. As a Pilates instructor and/or fitness instructor, your passion is your job.
Any last words you would like to leave us with?
Em: You'll never regret starting Pilates, whether it be adding it to your exercise routine or participating in a course. So many of our clients and students say to us that they 'wish they had found Pilates earlier in life'. Pilates is more accessible now that it has ever been before; what are you waiting for!?
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