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Technique Tip - Lead with the Verb

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

I'm offering up a tip on a topic that I've been implementing for years, but haven't ever talked about unless you've taken part in our teacher training courses.

Watch the video below to get the play by play, plus a step-by-step cueing breakdown.

Here's a quick 'hypothetical' scenario ...

You've taken aerial for about a year and you're excited about your newfound passion. You attend a class with a different coach and afterward, you don't feel as though you got through much as you typically do. You felt confused and somewhat frustrated during the class. Maybe it was you? Maybe this aerial thing isn't for you after all?

Hmmmmm ...

The scenario above describes how a student might feel in a class with a teacher who isn't clear in their instructions or process behind what they're teaching. It's possible the student could've been having an 'off' day, but oftentimes it's the lack of the coach's ability to engage and instruct their students effectively.

The famous Einstein quote comes into play well here ...

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

My oh my is this true, especially when it comes to instructing aerial!

While there's a lot that goes into teaching aerial, there's one golden tip when it comes to verbally communicating instructions clearly ...

Lead with the VERB, the ACTION followed by the steps needed in order to complete the skill or movement.

Verb examples: reach, wrap, step, grab, circle, press, invert, extend, lift, lower, point, flex, crochet. Want more? Click here for a free Aerial Verb cheat-sheet I put together for you!

Many tend to speak with a lot of unnecessary words (you're gonna, um, like, etc.) . When in the air it's likely our students (or ourselves) have a few strong seconds to take direction before their arms tire out or the skill becomes too unbearable for them to complete.

You need to be extremely clear and concise in your communication in order for your student to safely complete the skill. Rambling on, even if it's for a second too long, won't do them any good.

This 'lead with the verb' concept is one of many topics that we cover in our Level One Teacher Training course. Click here to grab your free preview of our training manual!


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