I can’t tell you how excited I am to get certified to teach Body Flow! You already know I lift weights and ride stationary bike…but doing the Body Flow class touches something deep in the core of my being. So, I want to highlight my journey to getting this certification. I am not certified in teaching lifting weights and RPM…I just love taking those classes.
After my Initial Training, I had 60 days to teach and pass in three categories: Choreography, Technique and Coaching. Also, I had to now learn the entire release, that’s ten tracks. Yikes! Not a dancer, not a musician, I constantly felt butterflies dancing in my stomach!
With great nervousness, I started practicing with the Masterclass Video by Les Mills that I had downloaded for Initial Training. I listened to the music, watched the presenters, and focused on the Choreography Notes. Overwhelmed, more times than not, I kept practicing. I kept reminding myself that this certification that I want was not for anyone else but for me. I wanted to do the program correctly, for me! That kept my nerves under control.
I had to videotape myself teaching this release, and send it to Les Mills for assessment. My deadline was mid October 2016. After speaking to a few Body Flow instructors at the gym, I started taping myself teach in their classes. My Body Flow instructors are amazing people! With their busy lives, they took me under their wings. They coached me and encouraged me. They let me shadow with them, and answered my questions.
A must for me was practice, practice and more practice; everyday, two, three or four times. I had sore muscles in my body. I practiced in my basement, bedroom and even bathroom. I practiced at the gym, when no group classes were scheduled. The cleaning person there knew I would be coming to practice, so he cleaned the floors before I got there. He told me that he wanted me to get a nice clean smelling room. That was very sweet. I greet him every time I see him.
Result of my first assessment – SEND NEW VIDEO! That meant I did not get certified. Other instructors were encouraging and said that happens. I knew right away why? I was moving faster or slower than what the music allowed. I needed to fine tune my work, and be on the beat of the music! My assessor sent me a detailed feedback. I read it a hundred times as I practiced. I actually felt that this feedback that I received was great. Had I been certified first time around, I really wouldn’t have known how to fine tune myself.
I sent my second video a month later. Assessment result – SEND NEW VIDEO. What? Even my Body Flow instructors couldn’t believe this. I had felt pretty good with my taping. So, what did I miss? I read my second detailed feedback from my assessor. I shared that with other instructors. I had passed two out of three categories – I made it through Choreography and Technique. I failed Coaching. I was very disappointed. I started to lose the little confidence I had. I fought with my own thoughts and felt totally discouraged. I thought I was pursuing something I was not cut out for. But something inside me poked me to get up and keep reading the feedback and practicing. So, I kept going. The feedback was written in an encouraging way and I never felt that the assessor wanted to fail me. The assessor’s words had this powerful “push”; enough to get me lifted and going!
Coaching starts with Layer 1 Coaching. As an instructor, I would need to cover Layer 1 Coaching – “Alignment: Include the Pose Name, Body Part(s) and Direction of the Movement,this tells people what to move and where to move,” per Les Mills. Next in Layer 1 is giving Breathing Cues: “Encourage deep nasal breathing, which helps to oxygenate the brain and counteract the effects of stress.” Lastly, in Layer 1 is giving Options to reduce intensity or advance the pose. I was good here.
Next is Layer 2 Coaching. This is where an instructor must Pause and Look at the class participants. “See what is really happening on the floor for your class.” Then correct a pose if that’s what’s needed or cheer if the class is doing great with a pose. Encourage and support the participants. Video taping, focusing on passing, being on the stage, and teaching a real class was enough to make me forget coaching altogether! And, you say Coaching had layers! 🙂 Of course I knew, but in those moments it was miles and miles away from my mind!
Then came Layer 3 Coaching. My assessor wrote that I did do some Layer 3 Coaching, just not enough. Layer 3 Coaching – “These cues coach your class, evolving, extending and enhancing the feel and experience of their poses, thus moving your participants closer to perfect technique and experience.” Those wonderful, seasoned Body Flow instructors who were my biggest support system were shocked that I did not pass 2nd time around. After seeing my detailed feedback, they said maybe I need my video reviewed again. They all agreed that Layer 3 Coaching came with time and experience. The instructors said that was never part of their passing criteria.
The National Lead Assessor (NLA) for Body Flow reviewed my video. They said that the assessment standards had become stricter in 2016 and it was now more difficult to pass. This change was done to align with global standards and meet partner demands. They also wrote, “You (that’s me) sit quite well in the essence of Body Flow and teach with authenticity and ease that will serve you well throughout your teaching journey.” I loved this part! This hit me right in my core. Remember, my core, I mentioned it earlier. I got what I needed to push me. I loved reading NLA’s feedback over and over. They sent me a beautifully crafted detailed e-mail. Told me exactly where to go in my videotape and what to do. They really wanted me to succeed! I felt that deeply!
Third video, done! In early December, I videotaped it in one of my instructors morning classes. Then I videotaped a 2nd one that evening in another one of my instructors classes. Nervously, but bravely, I did it! I reviewed the videos at home. Picked the second one and uploaded it to Les Mills. Done! This is it! I took a deep breath in and exhaled a long breath out!
Three days before Christmas 2016, I fell sick. As I rested I re-read all my feedback sheets from past assessments. I checked the Les Mills portal everyday to see if the results came, even though Les Mills sent me a message saying that result would come by December 29th. Still sick in bed the day after Christmas, I picked up my phone to check stuff and decided to open my email. “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU PASSED YOUR ASSESSMENT VIDEO AND ARE NOW A CERTIFIED BODY FLOW INSTRUCTOR!” I am ready to move forward in this journey! So happy!
P.S. Thanks to my assessor. You were tough with me, but I needed it! I clearly understand how I need to script my coaching.
P.S. Thanks to my wonderful group of Body Flow instructors. I couldn’t have done this without your strong support, advice and hugs!
If you are wanting to become a Body Flow instructor, I hope my article helped you. I’ll answer any question(s) you may have. Feel free to send them my way.
…thanks for visiting Coaching My Life To Healthy…until next time:)