When I first started down the Pilates certification road I was constantly told that I’d only become a good teacher after having taught thousands of bodies.
That was absolutely maddening.
Here I was, spending crazy money and time on a comprehensive Pilates certification only to be told that I’d graduate and be no good at it.
Plus, they kept using the same word: thousands. Thousands of bodies! Holy cow, how long was that going to take? I was in my early twenties and this was the hardest thing I’d ever done (seriously, it was harder than college), and I instinctively knew that it would be years (decades?) before I’d taught thousands of bodies.
Well, here I am on the flip side of the equation and I can tell you it’s all absolutely, maddeningly true.
First off, let me set the record straight. If you graduate from a good program, you’re already a good teacher. You’re safe, you understand the method, you know how to set up the equipment, you know how to treat your clients.
Still, when you first graduate, you’re really only in first grade. Have you ever heard that saying, “Everything I needed to know in life I learned in kindergarten”? Well, in life as well as with teaching Pilates, you learn all the principles early and then it takes years and years of experience applying those principles to really understand them.
Each year, I look back on the prior year and say, “Man, I thought I was a good teacher back then.” But I learn so much each year, heck, each hour I teach, that the difference in my understanding from one year to the next amazes me.
I see bodies differently now than when I started. I really SEE them, all the way down to the bones. And my own body has gotten older and a bit creakier, so I KNOW what my clients feel like. And after nearly two decades and countless thousands of clients, I intuitively know how to teach a personalized lesson tailored to each body’s uniqueness.
And it keeps getting better, with each and every client. Next year, I’ll be better than I am today. And the year after that. And the year after that…
So, yes, you may just be in first grade now, but you know the fundamentals and as you apply them, day in and day out, you’ll be amazed, just like I have, with the deeper level of understanding that each year brings.