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Teaching Tips #3: Follow Through

March 13, 2020

Which cues are the most common cues that you hear in almost every class?

“Pull your belly button to your spine.”

“Shoulders down.”

“Inhale, exhale.”


There are many more…

And of course, you are a unique individual, which means you have your very own generic cues unique to you. Cues that you often use when that moment of “what to say next?” pops up and you feel you need to say something. These cues are your “go-to cues” and they fill the moment with words and content that gives the impression that you are the person in charge and know what you are doing. Or do you?

We are all culprits of falling into a rut, a rhyme, or verse of generic cues that we use in our teaching. It’s human and it is part of what we do. The question is, is it correct?

Frankly, I don’t know, and my thinking is that it is not wrong. It is what makes us special and unique. What is important is that we RECOGNIZE that we have these generic cues and we are AWARE that we use them sparingly and when appropriately as it can become boring and predictable.

The thing though, is that these generic cues after a while have NO MEANING. They’re just words. Words that are cluttering the air space between your mouth and your clients’ ears.

This is the thing: Follow Through

LOOK at the body or bodies in front of you.

GIVE A CUE whether it is verbal or tactile.

LOOK again.

Did your client act on your instruction or cue?


Oops, try saying the same thing in a different way.

Did your client act on your instruction or cue?


Success! You made a difference and the client acted on your instruction. Fantastic!

What happened in this scenario is that you FOLLOWED THROUGH with your cues. You observed the person, gave an appropriate cue, they acted, and a change was made.

That, for me, is effective teaching. Whether you use a generic cue, follow through with it and look if your client is actually acting on it.

Give your cues punch, give them meaning and follow through with what you want. Only when people act on your corrections are you making a change.

“It is the ‘follow through’ that makes the great difference between ultimate success and failure, because it is so easy to stop.” – John C Maxwell

Give it punch and meaning. Til next time,

Theo Botha

Principal Faculty & BASI Pilates Licensee, South Africa

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