Pilates Teachers' Manual

Special Guest - Chelsea Corley

November 05, 2020 Olivia Bioni, Chelsea Corley Season 3 Episode 9
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Chelsea Corley
Chapters
0:00
Welcome
1:57
First Experience with Pilates
4:37
Chelsea's Advice for Teachers
9:50
What is Motor Learning Theory?
13:32
Chelsea's Course: What You Say Matters
23:32
Teaching More by Talking Less
31:00
You Can Sign Up for this Course!
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Chelsea Corley
Nov 05, 2020 Season 3 Episode 9
Olivia Bioni, Chelsea Corley

Today I talk with Chelsea all about Pilates and the way applying Motor Learning Theory to teaching Pilates can help your students grow with the method. We also discuss her continuing education course What You Say Matters and my experiences in the course. If you love it, sign up for the November cohort here: *https://links.oliviabioni.com/chelseacorley-nov-2020

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM

Email [email protected] with your feedback.

Show Notes:   

Chelsea Corley is a Certified Romana’s Pilates Instructor with more than ten years of experience teaching Pilates clients and instructors. As an instructor she is known for her ability to successfully advance clients in their programs by applying motor-learning concepts that help clients master and retain exercise details from session to session. Chelsea received her Master's Degree in Biobehavioral Science in Motor Learning and Control through Columbia University, Teacher's College. Prior to starting her own studio, Chelsea managed a large team of Pilates instructors for the Washington, DC branch of a luxury fitness company. In that role she was responsible for helping instructors build successful programs for their clients, while coaching their teaching techniques to improve client satisfaction and retention. You can learn more about her program and the courses she offers here: *https://integratedteachingsystem.com/movement-master-teacher*  

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings! 

Episode Music: 

This episode uses NCS music in compliance with https://ncs.io/usage-policy

Track: Tobu - Good Times [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/YHSH9k9ooZY
Free Download / Stream: http://ncs.io/goodtimes

Track: Tobu & Itro - Sunburst [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/4lXBHD5C8do

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/oliviapodcasts)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today I talk with Chelsea all about Pilates and the way applying Motor Learning Theory to teaching Pilates can help your students grow with the method. We also discuss her continuing education course What You Say Matters and my experiences in the course. If you love it, sign up for the November cohort here: *https://links.oliviabioni.com/chelseacorley-nov-2020

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM

Email [email protected] with your feedback.

Show Notes:   

Chelsea Corley is a Certified Romana’s Pilates Instructor with more than ten years of experience teaching Pilates clients and instructors. As an instructor she is known for her ability to successfully advance clients in their programs by applying motor-learning concepts that help clients master and retain exercise details from session to session. Chelsea received her Master's Degree in Biobehavioral Science in Motor Learning and Control through Columbia University, Teacher's College. Prior to starting her own studio, Chelsea managed a large team of Pilates instructors for the Washington, DC branch of a luxury fitness company. In that role she was responsible for helping instructors build successful programs for their clients, while coaching their teaching techniques to improve client satisfaction and retention. You can learn more about her program and the courses she offers here: *https://integratedteachingsystem.com/movement-master-teacher*  

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings! 

Episode Music: 

This episode uses NCS music in compliance with https://ncs.io/usage-policy

Track: Tobu - Good Times [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/YHSH9k9ooZY
Free Download / Stream: http://ncs.io/goodtimes

Track: Tobu & Itro - Sunburst [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/4lXBHD5C8do

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/oliviapodcasts)

Olivia: [00:00:00] Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.

Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. [00:01:00] Today, I'm joined by Chelsea Corley, who is a certified Romana's Pilates instructor. She also has her master's degree in Biobehavioral Science in Motor Learning from Columbia University Teacher's College, and she offers several continuing education programs. And her course What You Say Matters makes motor learning theory accessible and implementable for Pilates teachers. That's a course that I took and you'll get to hear more about it in this conversation. Let's dive in. 

Chelsea, thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm so glad you're here. 

Chelsea: [00:01:38] Thank you for having me. I'm so excited. 

Olivia: [00:01:40] So I met Chelsea, as I've said, through her Integrated Teaching System course, What You Say Matters. And I learned so much from that course, and we will definitely be talking about that a little bit later in, but first I want to ask you, what was your first experience with Pilates? 

Chelsea: [00:01:57] So I started Pilates at a very young age [00:02:00] as a dancer and I had hip issues and Pilates was life-changing for me. I then decided to become certified and completed my training at True Pilates in New York City, which is a Romana's Pilates certification program. So I had great experience young with another Ramana's Pilates instructor. And so that's kind of how I ended up going that route of becoming certified.

Olivia: [00:02:26] Excellent. So what about this teacher really inspired you to stick with Pilates? Because sometimes our first experience with Pilates is not our best experience with Pilates. What inspired you to choose that system to follow us? 

Chelsea: [00:02:40] Well, I was, I mean, when I say I was young, I was like really young. So I was 14 when I was first introduced to her. So I didn't exactly like know there were other forms of Pilates, which I know sounds crazy, but I didn't know. And so her experience was really the only experience that I had of Pilates and I just loved the way it felt in my [00:03:00] body. And it was very much more of like dance mentality and that everything flowed and the structure. Being 14, but also being a dancer, that structure really helped me.

So I think that's why definitely gravitated towards that. And really, yeah, I liked that system of Pilates, but when I entered the program, when I was 18 years old, that's when I first I started it and then I did it every summer. When I was graduating from college, I was coming back every summer, doing a portion of my basic, my intermediate, my advanced. So it took me forever to finish. 

I think I was just so young. I didn't know anything different, which sounds crazy now. Like I've been learning so much more about Corola and Kathy Grant, all these other wonderful people and they had all these different concepts and different experiences. And I think it's really great to learn the full spectrum of it. And it's important in the Pilates histories. 

Olivia: [00:03:52] Well, that's incredible. I had no idea. That is the most unique teacher training experience that I've [00:04:00] heard, that you did it in summers while you were a youth. Oh my gosh. 

Chelsea: [00:04:05] It was a lot to balance. I lived in Connecticut, so I would just commute into New York in the summers. And I was like dedicated all of my time all day long just to get my hours done and test out and then go back to school. 

Olivia: [00:04:16] And also really inspiring for younger people who are interested in Pilates. I know, I didn't even know Pilates was a thing until later in my twenties. What advice do you have for teachers? Because you have so many years of incredible teaching experience and also in different places and different formats as well. So what have you learned? What can you share? 

Chelsea: [00:04:37] This is such a great question, but I'm going to answer this in two parts. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and wanting to prove that I was valuable and that I was a great teacher to my clients. And the way that I would do that is I would try to express this value by over explaining and talking and saying everything I could possibly say. It was as if the [00:05:00] more knowledge I dropped on them, the more they would really see that I knew more and that I was experienced and that I was a better teacher because I was giving them more information.

My advice to people is don't do that. You are valuable in what you're teaching, and even if you're just teaching the most simplistic thing to someone, it's valuable and it's life-changing for that person. So just really recognizing that you need to be patient with yourself and just trust that you are a good teacher and that you are valuable as a teacher and trying not to compare yourself to teachers who have more years under the belt. 

And then for experienced teachers, my advice is to have a specific session plan for your clients or class based on goals for your clients. So programming, I feel like is something we talk a lot about in our training program, but then once we're done, we're kind of like we can teach off the cuff, depends on how the person feels. And that's all true, but [00:06:00] you need to think about the skills that you want your clients to achieve, or maybe what their goals are outside of the Pilates studio and how can we get people to achieve those goals and skills using Pilates.

And that takes time, thought and planning. We have to figure out how we can manipulate the system of Pilates and the exercises and what we're saying to help them be able to excell outside of the studio. Just having a little bit of a plan is my advice that I think is very, very helpful and allows your expertise and those years of experience shine through.

But on a broader level, my advice to new teachers is to recognize that you didn't learn everything in your training program, nor could you. And that's okay. By continuing to learn and to explore different methodologies, different areas of science, workshops you'll cultivate a unique toolbox that's all your own. It will help you develop your teaching style. There's just so much to learn and being [00:07:00] open-minded and curious and thoughtful, you will be able to gain your unique voice as a teacher. 

My advice to experienced teachers is similar. Even after teaching for many years, we still don't know at all and nor can we. We have to learn and ask questions and not be shy to do that, and maybe even apply different methodologies we never really thought of to our teaching.

I ask questions all the time. Like my husband is an orthopedic surgeon and I probably irritate him with all the questions that I have for him. But I always ask him on a particular condition or a biomechanical question, or what is the recovery supposed to be like for this type of surgery or whatever it may be.

I really found that by asking the questions it's helped me become a better teacher. Because there's no way that I can do it all, nor should I. And I felt like at one time in my teaching career that I really should know at all, it's been liberating to surround myself with a very diverse network of [00:08:00] people who I can go to and ask questions to, and be able to bring different perspectives to my Pilates teaching as well as to my clients.

And so to put it simply, experienced teachers do know a lot, but we can't know it all. I recommend being open-minded to learning different schools of thought and being a student again. 

Olivia: [00:08:20] I think that that point is really important. I'm resonating so much with what you're saying about being a new teacher and you do know a lot, you know, when you come out of your teacher training and every class you teach, you're learning something new. 

For me, it was kind of a two-fold thing where I have never been more confident in my ability to teach when I like just came out of teacher training and I was like, I know everything and, you know, ask me about those contraindications. I got them. 

And then at the same time also fighting overwhelm, knowing that there's so much that you don't know. And these warring thoughts that, you know, I have to know everything in order to be a good teacher and also, Oh my gosh, how am I going to [00:09:00] learn all these things? 

I saw a Maya Angelou quote that said, you know, when you know better, do better. And so I love this idea of just every time you learn something new, it's just another tool that you have. And it doesn't mean that you were not a great teacher before, you just know more and now you can do a little bit more or do a little bit differently.

And also in terms of stepping out of Pilates into, you know, whether it's the medical field or physical therapy informs a lot of things. Or even like different movement modalities, whether it's dance or barre or yoga like that they're all offering things that we can share with our clients. 

So getting to your area of expertise and what I am so grateful that I learned from you, and that is all about motor learning theory. So for our listeners, what is motor learning theory and why should it matter to Pilates teachers? 

Chelsea: [00:09:50] So I'm so glad you asked this. Motor learning theory specifically studies how people learn and retain movement skills as well as how [00:10:00] people learn and refine movement best. We experience motor learning all of the time. It's involved when we learn a dance, when we throw a ball, when we play tennis, when we pick up a pencil, and even when we are doing and learn Pilates. Any movement skill we perform we have had to have learned that skill. 

But what's interesting about this is we probably don't remember how we learned how to pick up a pencil. It happened, there is a process to learning motor skills that isn't really widely discussed, especially in our Pilates community or just in the industry itself, because it's not really something that's really well discussed out there, but now it's becoming much more prevalent. A lot of other people are starting to look at the research and it's being implemented in different areas, such as professional sports. The athletic trainers are using it too. I really think that Pilates in a great place to really [00:11:00] focus and use motor learning theory to elevate the power of Pilates. 

You know, this matters because we're in the business of teaching people and our clients movement and new skills. So in terms of motor learning, any global movement is technically a complex skill. Pilates exercises are complex movements and skills. So we're essentially just teaching people complex skills all the time when we're teaching them Pilates. 

But we have to really ask ourselves when we're teaching someone where, when we're watching them, are we able to see that they're recruiting the correct muscles and the correct movement sequence to do the exercise? Or are they bypassing over the muscles we're intending for them to be using? Right? 

Maybe it looks like it's okay, but are they really actually doing the exercise the way that we're intending them to feel it? Or can they remember the exercises week to week? Maybe, maybe not. Can they transfer the skills in an exercise for one apparatus [00:12:00] to another apparatus? And can they also transfer these skills that we're teaching them in Pilates to the real world? Cause that's a lot of the reason why people come to do poetics because they have a goal outside of Pilates. So those are all things that involve motor learning.

So a client's ability to advance depends as much on their motor learnability as on their strength and flexibility, if not more so. As instructors, the more we understand about how motor learning influences performance and how people learn and retain movement, the more we can adapt our teaching to enhance learning and overall progress.

In my experience, understanding how to adapt your teaching using motor learning concepts can really take the power of Pilates to the next level. And every Pilates teacher can learn it and apply it to their teaching. Clients will progress faster, will become more autonomous with their Pilates, have better body awareness in the studio and in their everyday [00:13:00] lives.

But the best news is that adding motor learning theory only enhances what you've already learned in your certification program no matter which certification program you went through. You could go and study this for years and get a degree in it like I did, but you don't have to, which is the great news because my course, which Olivia, you went through, pulls out the most relevant concepts from motor learning research and puts it in a context for Pilates instructors. So it's easy to understand and to apply immediately. 

Olivia: [00:13:32] I can just say from my experience in the course, that motor learning theory and just having this research really provides a framework to sort of look at yourself as a teacher, gives you just stepping- I feel like in teacher training, you're taught how to tell people how to do the exercises, which is very important. If someone's coming to a Pilates class, the idea is that you're going to do Pilates. You probably want to have some exercises on hand to share with them, but the things that you [00:14:00] said about motor learning theory, you know, that they are autonomous, that they remember the exercises, that they can transfer those skills.

Because, you know, I can say in my classes, we do swan on the long box all the time. And if we're going to do swan on the chair, it's suddenly like, Oh my gosh, but how do I do thoracic extension? And I'm like, well, you've been doing thoracic extension. Like, have you been thinking about it or just following my cues and not thinking about it?

So when you talk about as teachers watching students, and we're looking to see if they're muscularly bypassing something, what I learned from your course is that as teachers, we can verbally bypass students thinking for themselves. I mean, it was an incredible course. I'm definitely going to link to it in the show notes because I highly recommend it. I feel like it elevated my teaching to a grand degree. 

Chelsea: [00:14:47] How are you seeing a change in your teaching after completing the course? 

Olivia: [00:14:51] One of, I think, the most valuable parts of the course is that you're videotaping yourself teaching. So you really do have things to look [00:15:00] at for yourself because when you're teaching, we're juggling so many things. We're juggling all everyone's body and the exercises and the things we've already done and the things we still have to do and, Oh my gosh, that person's knee has a thing, I got to grab a knee pad for them or whatever. So having this video to go back in and then look at it and be like, you know, what did I actually say? Like, what was the outcome of what I said. 

As a teacher, I'm a very talkative person and I'm very comfortable filling silence with talking. And I definitely fell into the trap that you mentioned of just like, I know a bunch of things I'm going to share a bunch of things with you because I am an excellent teacher and I want you to know that about me. That's easy to do. And it made me feel like I was doing a good job teaching.

But in terms of what I was seeing my students do, one of the things that we learned was this guidance hypothesis, that if you're constantly giving people feedback and constantly giving them a thousand different cues about an exercise, that they're not really able to process those things and they become reliant [00:16:00] on you telling them to do the things in order to replicate that action.

Even if we do chest expansion every single session, if I were to say, prepare for chest expansion, my client wouldn't know what to do without me saying, you know, knees against the shoulder blocks, grab a hold of the sticky tape, changed to a red spring, or whatever. 

A huge change that I saw is that I could say a lot less and let my clients, let my students, experience things more. And the feedback that I could give them could be more meaningful than just "nice" or "good," which I was using as almost filler words, because if I'm not saying something, I must not be teaching. 

Just being able to give clear feedback, concrete feedback, like take a breath, see what my students were doing. All of those things have given me some space to be more useful. And when I say things, they matter, like, I know, you know, like what you say matters. I'm like, it really does though. I would say that that was an incredibly valuable thing that I've taken away from the course.

[00:17:00] Chelsea: [00:16:59] That's so great to hear, like, that's why I named it What You Say Matters because what and how we say things to people, it impacts their learning significantly. Obviously there's a lot of research on that. 

Making easy adaptations to your teaching, not even changing how you're teaching the exercise, whether you're a classical teacher or contemporary teacher. It's really just about what you're saying and how you're addressing your client and how much feedback are you giving them? What corrections are you giving them? And we should be on a feedback reduction schedule for clients to gain autonomy. 

They want to improve their golf swing. I can't go to the golf course and tell them what to do on how to get their drive a lot further. They have to experience it and they have to make that neuroplastic change in their body, from their brain to their muscles, be able to organize the sequence that they need to organize, to be able to do that skill effectively and well.

And clients won't progress nearly as fast if we [00:18:00] continue to just say the choreography and not letting them be responsible for their workout as well. 

Olivia: [00:18:06] I totally a hundred percent agree. And I'm seeing that in my clients as well. Like when I'm not jumping in immediately to give 18 corrections and I just let them start to perform the exercise, maybe do a couple of reps. And then you really see where they auto-correct, like where they've internalized the corrections that you've given them and then they're making those changes. 

I also think it's important that we give them time to process, that it doesn't happen instantly. Maybe for another Pilates teacher, if I say, you know, we're going to do kneeling chest expansion, you can be there in a second. But we have to give some time for them to figure it out a little bit for themselves before we try to rush to their aid.

Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter so far. There's great stuff [00:19:00] coming up after the break, too. Be sure to subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There you can make a one-time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.

Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly zoom call with me and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products I use and love. Now back to the show.

Other things that I learned too in the last unit that we just finished about demonstration as not an effective way [00:20:00] to teach. And that's one that blew my mind and I'm still processing a little bit, but because you know, when someone is confused and you want to get them there, it's almost like with your body, you're telling them like, you know, just do it like this. 

But the problem is, because you're an expert at that movement, then they're just imitating the movement. Like you said, there might be bypassing happening. 

I know that when I first started doing Pilates or I first started doing yoga, I really, when I first started learning anything, it was just like, we'll just make it look like that and then the teacher won't have anything else to say to me, that like, leave me alone. But then you're not learning what you're doing. You're not feeling it for yourself in a way that you can find that feeling again, make that new connection. 

Chelsea: [00:20:42] Yeah, that's exactly right. And it's interesting that, and Romana's Pilates, at least how we were taught, we're often taught not to demonstrate. When I was coming from a dance background that drove me nuts because I'm like, if you just showed me, I'll be able to do it. 

But it's interesting that that demonstration part kind of [00:21:00] inherently in that system for what we were taught. But I know that, and a lot of teachers after being certified, whether they're from Romana's or not, just in general, this is my general observation that people like to demonstrate because it makes the class keep moving. Clients ask for it. It makes them feel comfortable. And it's not that it's a no-no to do, but it helps people organize their thoughts to see where they need to be, if they're completely confused. However, in terms of creating like neural change and them feeling the exercise and being able to experience it, third is going to try to imitate you.

And imitation is not where the real learning is going to happen. They have to go through the process of it being wrong and making mistakes and having us correct it so that they can learn what they personally need to correct in their own body to execute the skill, how we want them or how it should be executed.

Olivia: [00:21:54] And then also the importance of negative feedback and like negative feedback [00:22:00] not being negative. If everything you say during the class is, "that's great. Good job. Or that's it, or yes," that's not giving the learner any information about what was good or what they did that was so great. And then how can they do that again? Or they might think that their shoulder placement was really great, but really you were just like, great. You changed that spring, you know. Like that it really is important to give corrections. 

And then another thing that I see that I've changed again, like I come from a theater background, so I will talk about things forever. I love the sound of my voice hence the podcast, but that you can give a really direct, short cue that your student can then embody. And you don't need to say anything else. You can just say that, and then there can be silence. Silence is okay. 

Just watching how my teaching changed in those videos. The first video I talked [00:23:00] nonstop, and then just this dramatic reduction in what I was saying, but then this increase in changes that I was seeing in my client, even though I was saying fewer cues. Because when you give one piece of feedback on one key item and you really get to the heart of that one thing that you want them to do, and maybe there's other things that are not what you want, but if you can focus on one thing, that's something that they can learn and then give back to you. The next session we can add on, because we have this nice long-term relationship with our people. They don't have to leave the session, executing everything perfectly. 

Chelsea: [00:23:32] That's exactly right. I mean, I think that's, what's so interesting about this course. That's why I wanted people to have to film themselves and see it. I feel like often we don't really know what we're saying while we're teaching. It's like you're in a whole other world and you're so focused on everything and this person needs a knee pad and this person's springs are wrong. And it's we're not as conscious about what we're saying. 

By giving silence, it feels weird at first. But as a teacher, I find it liberating because it gives me space where I can [00:24:00] actually really watch, and watch my clients. See what's going on. See what key elements are off. That's how I'm able to create a better program for my clients and how I'm able to structure what my cues are going to be, how I'm going to be progressing them. What key elements they're having a hard time with and how to take them that next step further, maybe not next week, maybe not the week after, but maybe in three weeks, they'll be able to do it. And so setting little mini goals for them in your own programing can be helpful too. And it's great that you saw improvement with your clients and just making things more simple.

Olivia: [00:24:36] The power of simplicity continues to blow my mind. Also like if I were to be learning Pilates or learning something new, I would want, you know, simple things that I could conquer, mini goals that I could achieve. 

This course in particular made me reflect on, you know, not just the experience that I was providing, but also like Pilates is fantastic. And [00:25:00] your clients moving is always better than your client's not moving. And you know, if you're listening to this and you are a Pilates teacher, like you're already doing fantastic things for your students. But this just gives you another way to create more value, to accomplish more of those mini goals and also to breathe.

I've never breathed so many breaths as I do when I can watch and then know that when I say something, it's not because I'm filling the silence, not because I have a checklist of things that need to be done. And like, of course you do, but I don't need to say all of those things. I can really focus on the one thing that this person needs right now.

And while a lot of this is dealing with, you know, working one-on-one with clients. I've also seen with my group classes as well, because you're still giving individual feedback. And especially now during COVID, I'm not giving hands-on adjustments. So I'm still going to go over to an individual person and give them an individual correction and just having a framework and a way to correct them that [00:26:00] creates almost instant change is like really fabulous. This is a really great class. I'm really glad I did it.

Chelsea: [00:26:06] After taking this course, how do you feel that the information that you gained from this course, maybe bridged a gap and what you've learned in your training program and your experiences of teaching when you completed your program? 

Olivia: [00:26:21] As we've both agreed, there's you learn a ton in your teacher training program, but you can't learn everything. And Pilates itself is so intricate and vast that I found that in the teacher training program, you're taught how to teach the exercises. And again, when you're teaching classes and people are coming to your class, that's the skill that you're going to need to do most immediately is you're going to need to communicate what body position people need to be in and what the movement is that you want them to do. 

And you get very good at telling people how to do exercises, but in terms of teaching the exercise in a way that your student can replicate [00:27:00] that experience for themselves, whether it's on another piece of equipment or in their daily life, when you are not there, or, you know, remembering the exercises or really having a chance to grow that's on their terms.

There isn't really a lot, in my teacher training program, or I say in teacher training programs in general, about how to best teach and how to share information in a way that is really going to benefit your student. 

And then also really benefit you as a teacher, like I very much wish that I knew that I don't have to talk the whole time to be a good teacher. Like that would have saved me a lot. You know, especially now because you know, I also teach wearing a mask. And so anytime that I don't have to talk constantly, like this is a good rest for my throat as well. 

So really just bridging the gap and that you have this information about the exercises, which is so important and you are going to need that. But how can you get it across in a way that is really [00:28:00] useful? And how can you make everything that you say an important thing that has a benefit for your client and that really helps them grow? 

Part of the course is, you know, looking at all of these different studies that are done. And like, if you're only giving, you know, positive feedback, if you're only saying, you know, good job, good job, like they're still going to learn and grow, but they'll learn and grow more, if you use your feedback in a different way, if you give them things that they can concretely change. 

Part of it, you know, as nerdy as it is, just having this research, having this foundation that, you know, someone looked at this for like a long time and talked to like hundreds or thousands of people and told them how to do things and this had the biggest result. 

And especially, you said it once, but I want to come back to it, this idea of retention. That especially when you're teaching group class, retention isn't something that you're always thinking about because you just have to lead this individual class and you might see this person and you may never see them [00:29:00] again.

But when you're working with someone, long-term, whether they're like a member of your studio or they're like a private client, you do want them to learn and then keep that thing that they learned. We think about progressing our clients through like more challenging exercises maybe, but sometimes progress is being able to recall that information, being able to reproduce that shape.

And we already work, like you said, in Pilates, like it really fits nicely because we're working in different body positions in different pieces of equipment. Like, you know neutral spine lying on your back in footwork. Do you know neutral spine when we're doing kneeling arms, when we're standing at the springboard, when we're doing swan on the chair, anytime you're in this like different shape, can we find that again?

I feel like this course also bridged gaps that I didn't know were there and gave me confidence that I'm doing the, you know, the best I can and giving the best version of myself to my students, always with their needs and their goals in mind. 

Chelsea: [00:29:56] It's so awesome to see and like to see you [00:30:00] evolve as a teacher in the course too. Cause I get to go on that journey with you when I read your homework and your feedback and everything that you go through from the beginning of it until the end of the six weeks, that's really amazing to see the transformation of all different teachers. And motor learning theories should be, not the scary, big, scientific thing that's hard to apply. It's really, really simplistic stuff, but it's super powerful. Right? 

Just seeing the journey that you guys go on as teachers through this and your clients do, because if you use the same client throughout and then you can track their progress too. It is just something that it's like a little mini case study for you. And for me, the nerd in me finds that just so, so, so fascinating and valuable. 

Olivia: [00:30:43] So this is something like I had shared that I was in What You Say Matters, before, and, you know, people had asked, you know, the, you know, this sound so great that there's an interactive program. I have good news for you again, not only is there an interactive program, but you're opening up another cohort soon.

[00:31:00] Chelsea: [00:31:00] Yeah. So November 20th of 2020 is going to be our last cohort for this year. So people can get their CECs in cause we  have PMA credits. 

But also, I don't know, during this time of COVID like, did I expect for like a pandemic would hit and a lot of teachers would really actually need to work on the skill of communicating at a distance, whether it's at a social distance or virtually? No.

However, it's been so interesting to see how these concepts of motor learning theory and my Integrated Teaching System courses have helped instructors being able to transition seamlessly to a virtual platform or teaching more to social distance. 

So we do have some exciting changes on the horizon. So we are doing that last cohort for 2020 starting November 20th. And what I really wanted to add in was an even more interactive version. So once a week, we'll have a team zoom call with everyone going through it, and then we can all [00:32:00] talk about our experiences, our homework, any questions, and we can kind of really go through and work through case studies and work through the material together as a group.

I know that from working at home and working in my little virtual studio, I miss connecting with other Pilates instructors, and I feel that this could be a way that we can kind of bring the community together through that. So I'm really excited to be offering that in this version of the cohort. 

Olivia: [00:32:24] Is there anything else that you're working on or that you're super passionate about that you'd like to share? I mean, that's very exciting. 

Chelsea: [00:32:30] We do have some other exciting things. So as this year is winding down, we have something in the works happening for 2021, which is really exciting. So we're going to be going through a little bit of a rebrand. If people will follow an Integrated Teaching System on social media, you've probably noticed that for the past, like four months, we've been like radio silent.

And that was because I needed to take a step back and really just observe and listen to the Pilates community and also to my clients and see what people are asking for. [00:33:00] Right. After all of this time of observation, we're now working on a fresh way to bring the concepts from Integrated Teaching System together, with things that are happening in the Pilates studio under a halo of a new brand.

And we'll have some new product offerings as well. More courses to come. So there's a lot of exciting stuff to come for 2021. So we're still under Integrated Teaching System, but we'll have our fresh new look come 2021. 

Olivia: [00:33:28] That's so exciting. I'm so happy for you. And that's going to be fun. I'm so jealous of everyone who's going to be in this next cohort. I want to cohort back with people. 

Chelsea: [00:33:39] Maybe we can even extend the invitation to graduates events. You know what I mean? 

Olivia: [00:33:42] I think so. And like you said, this idea that you can connect with teachers. I feel like that's something that's happening a lot in the Pilates world, because we can't go to these conferences in person, but really the opportunity, like you said, to ask questions and to kind of like a safe place where you don't have to know everything, we're all learning [00:34:00] something together. I think that's incredible. 

Chelsea: [00:34:02] It's something that I know I miss. And I just love learning from other people in different modalities and different schools of thought, even if I don't understand it. And I'm like, why are they doing that? But I always ask why. Because I want to understand their thought process of why they're doing it.

And maybe I agree that, maybe I don't, but that why is just so important and just so intriguing. So I really feel that adding this component for people to have a safe space, ask questions from different backgrounds too, will be really helpful and will add the different element of connection for everyone, but also hopefully will enhance the learning process for all, everyone going through the next cohort.

Olivia: [00:34:43] That is excellent. Thank you so much for sharing about your course for sharing about motor learning theory. Especially, I find because I've taught for a few years and then doing this course that there's some value in going back and looking at, you know, how you teach and knowing that you can still [00:35:00] grow.

And so if this is something that's calling your name, as I said, I've got the link in the show notes so that you can check out the course for yourself. Thank you so much for being on, Chelsea. It's been a treat. 

Chelsea: [00:35:11] Thank you for having me on. It's been wonderful experience.

Olivia: [00:35:22] Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness, check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

The adventure continues. Until next time.



Welcome
First Experience with Pilates
Chelsea's Advice for Teachers
What is Motor Learning Theory?
Chelsea's Course: What You Say Matters
Teaching More by Talking Less
You Can Sign Up for this Course!