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Coach & Command @ IAFC 2018

Every time I get up on deck, it is an act of courage and responsibility for me. Confident is not a word I would have used to describe myself until after I began teaching aquatic fitness. I was terrified to get up and speak in front of my class in high school. A decade later, and my passion for aquatics finally put to use, I found that I felt more and more self-assured after each class I taught. I take my job very seriously. We still have fun in my classes, but I show up for my students with one purpose: to help them reach their goals. Whether you choose to define your title as a teacher, instructor or coach, our focus should be helping our students live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

The word “choreography” sounds daunting to me, and I’m sure to many others. My personal style is defined as freestyle/non-linear, or as my students call it, S’WET Drills. I use HIIT and boot camp formats that focus around timed drills, and/or instructor guided circuits. The entire class performs the same exercises for either a designated amount of time. Or, I observe the class to see how effectively they’re performing each move, and transition to the next exercise once the majority are moving correctly.

I am a believer in setting realistic yet challenging goals. One of my favorite ways to start class is asking my students to set their intentions or goals for the workout. Whether it’s to keep their mouth shut so they can focus more, give 85% instead of 65% during the interval sprints, or just get in two more push offs during circuits. I like to have everyone, including myself, set a goal.

One goal I make for myself, that also benefits my students, is changing my routines every 8-12 weeks, so that we’re always working on different areas of physical and mental fitness. This could be focusing on balance, plyometric, cardiovascular endurance, strength and power training, neuromuscular, etc. Though I do work the entire body every class, having a focus helps to keep things interesting, and allows students to improve in multiple areas of fitness.

This Coach & Command workshop came from a student telling me that she appreciated the way I coached the class and commanded attention. Hence the name was born! In this workshop, you will learn goal setting, strategies to push different ‘athletes’, and take away workout ideas and coaching tips to help you and your students achieve success.


Reprinted with permission from the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) This article first appeared in the February March 2018 issue of Akwa magazine.

Learn more about IAFC 2018



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