What were the challenges in coming up with your own in house training?
There were many challenges in starting this project. One of the main issues was how to crystallize the knowledge gap in a tangible and replicable manner, getting the senior instructors involved, and putting the systems in place.
We had to understand why exactly new instructors could not retain their clients compared to an experienced instructor. We do not believe that new instructors lacked in their skillset, but we know our clients and the quality of instructors they are used to with us so we wanted to come up with a training system that would expand on the basics while integrating our values and high-level practices that’s expected.
The next challenge involved getting the Senior Instructors on board with the system. Their belief was ‘you can only improve with experience’ and essentially what we were trying to do was to bypass the years of experience by getting our Senior Instructors to pass down the invaluable knowledge they had from years of teaching and workshops they attended.
Lastly, the inhouse program took some time to develop because all the instructors are always so busy, it was hard getting them to give up some time to help with the manuals. From contributing a class program to being the model in the pictures, it was a studio-wide effort to get this project going and we don’t think it will ever be complete.
What do you look for in a potential new hire?
As well as having the technical understanding of Pilates and biomechanics, we look for instructors who are passionate about body movement, have the hunger to learn, and show real dedication. It’s about personality too and more than just passing your Pilates exams. We look for instructors who are team players, have charisma, and are friendly and approachable.
Could you give us a little run through on how the instructor progresses?
There are 3 levels in our training system at Breathe. At each level, trainees will need to pass mock classes of specific levels and inbetween each mock class, there are lectures provided by Thicha & the senior instructors. These lectures include tips on verbal cues, anatomy & biomechanics, modifications and corrections, tips on layering the class program, tips on how to teach group classes and the 5 basic principles.
Once trainees have passed all the mock classes, they become graduates and are ready to join us as a Breathe Instructor.
Are trainees guaranteed a job at Breathe after completing the training program?
It’s not a guaranteed position but if they have passed all the mocks and have a great attitude, there is a high possibility that they will be joining the team.