Show, Don’t Tell

The Rack Athletic Performance Center

As kids some of us might remember one of everyone’s favorite days at school, show and tell. Show and tell is where a student would bring an item from home that they wanted to show to the class. This might have been a toy, something they found outside, jewelry, ect. Either way, whoever was presenting that day was always excited to show off what they had. As people get older this is an activity that never really stops. For example, this could be a presentation at your job, teaching a lesson if you’re a teacher, or in the training world showing your client how to do an exercise.

Most people have been to a workout class whether it was yoga, pilates, or a group fitness class where it is your first time and everyone in the class already knows what to do, except you. The instructor just tells everyone their task, and then everyone starts going. This can be uncomfortable for everyone involved if you do not know what is going on. The best coach or teacher will take the time to show everyone what to do first before starting the activity. This seems like a simple concept to grasp, but not every coach has that level of patience. A coach who truly cares about their clients will take the time to make sure their clients are doing the exercise and movements correctly; regardless if it is in a group setting or individual session.

If your client is experienced it could be easier just to give them small cues to fix their form or tell them what equipment to use. As coaches that is why it is important to build relationships with clients so we know how to speak their language. A safe bet regardless of a client’s skill level is to show, don’t tell.

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