Coachingcorrection

Coaching and correction of the class are the main responsibilities of the exercise leader. Coaching and correction can be directed to specific situations or may be required for an individual. General coaching points are often points that need to be reiterated and take time for motor learning to occur, e.g. for marching:

As you march on the spot, try to land your feet softly on the floor.

This also involves providing ongoing teaching points to cue an exercise so as to ensure that the action or task is performed well. Coaching points can focus on specific body position, performance and technique. Examples of coaching include the following:

• Coaching for 'body listening' exercise perception -

Remember we should be working at our own level and be able to talk while we exercise.

• Coaching technique -

When you step up on the box, make sure that your whole foot, including your heel, is on the step.

• Coaching the body position and technique for a calf stretch -Take a large step back on one foot, toes facing forward.

Look at your back foot. Check that your back foot is facing forward. Leave a space between your feet to help your balance.

In addition, visualisation can be used to coach activity. Visualisation is where an exercise can be compared to another situation, task or function. For example:

• Coaching using visualisation for a side stretch of the trunk -

Lean to the side. Slide your hand towards your knee.

Only move to the side, as if you were between two pieces of glass.

• Coaching using visualisation for a sit-up -

As you lift your head, keep your chin close to your chest, as if you were holding a small orange between chin and chest.

Many of these coaching elements are ongoing learning points that the exercise leader must repeat often to reinforce the learning and motor skill.

A key point in good teaching is avoiding information overload. When you give correction and teaching commands, allow time for participants to assimilate information. It is therefore important to give clear and short coaching points. Where the exercise performance and technique are being performed either poorly or incorrectly by the class or by an individual, there needs to be correction. Avoid targeting an individual's performance, as this can be embarrassing. Aim the correction and teaching points to the entire group in the first instance. If this is not successful in correcting the exercise, one of the class assistants could give individual coaching. In addition, it may be more appropriate to give an individual a personal coaching period in order to clarify the exercise at the end of the class.

The exercise leader should regularly praise and acknowledge good performance and technique by the group or individuals. For example:

Well done everyone. Our stretching position and balance are improving!

That was a good. We all worked in our training zone.

Well done, Agnes. You have completed two more circuits than you did in your first week.

This helps to reinforce participants' training improvements, learning and motor skills development. Furthermore, successful exercise performance and involvement can enhance participants' perception of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) and favourably enhance other future health behaviour change (Ross and Thow, 1997). The exercise leader can help participants recognise such success and see even small improvements as an achievement.

Teaching Skills for Exercise Classes EDUCATING DURING CLASS

Education on the benefits of exercise is a significant role of both the CR exercise leader and team members (SIGN, 2002). The exercise leader should use the principles of adult learning when integrating education during the class (SIGN, 2002):

These principles should be applied to educating on the benefits of exercise for both cardiovascular and psychosocial improvements. The benefits of exercise are routinely addressed in informal education talks in CR (BACR, 1995). These benefits can further be reinforced and reflected upon during the exercise class. Areas for ongoing education in the class can include warm-up, overload, cool-down, strengthening and self-monitoring skills covered in Chapters 3 and 5. The exercise leader and team members can reinforce and consolidate the benefits and reasons of each section of the class and the content of each. For example:

We are warming up to bring our heart rate slowly up before our more vigorous circuit section. It also helps our muscles and joints to get warmer and we will stretch better.

• benefits of aerobic overload:

The aerobic section helps us to be able to do more exercise without feeling fatigued.

We are cooling down to return our heart rate slowly towards resting.

To review aspects of education during the class the exercise leader can invite the class to answer questions during the class. For example:

Why are we warming up? Why do we use the Borg scale?

• relevance tailored to patients' knowledge, beliefs and circumstances;

informed regarding progress with learning or change;

tailored to personal needs;

provided with means to take action and/or reduce barriers;

rewarded for progress.

• individualisation

• facilitation

• reinforcement

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