Advancing in your pole/aerial ability requires more than just signing up for classes. Take responsibility for your aerial development and get the most out of your classes. Here are my top five tips on how to get the most out of every practice session.
1. SHOW UP regularly. You won’t grow if you don’t show. Consistency is the key to results.
2. Become a master. Ask yourself, do you strive for mastery or just an introduction to the trick? So often tricks are taught, attempted and moved on from without a clear focus or dedication to mastering that skill. It’s all to common to see students not only not remember how to execute a trick/combo previously taught, but are not even able to remember what they did in class the previous week. Do you revisit what you learn in class when you get home or during open studio? If you don’t, you should start. Learn it, practice it, master it and then put it into action! This practice should also include regularly recording and reviewing your skills. Keep your own video library.
3. Stay on task! This is multifold, as I’ve encountered a variety of ways that students get distracted during class:
- When you’re in class, stay focused on the skills and drills provided by your instructor. I find myself often reminding students that they don’t pay to stand around, they pay to get beat down lol. (Feel free to sugar coat this to your liking.) The point is, standing around after attempting a move 1-2 times before giving up, watching others or waiting around for the next task is not an efficient use of your time or class funds. I tell my students: Don’t stop when you get it right, stop once you can’t get it wrong.
- Are you doing what the instructor has asked you to do, some altered version of what you were instructed to do, or just flat out what you want to do? Don’t venture off on your own. You not only become a distraction but you could do something that your body may not be properly warmed up for or that you can get injured from.
- Pay attention and stay focused. You should not be on your phone or having disruptive, unrelated side conversations. If you do need to take a call, check your phone or return a text then step out of the room.
- Listen and ask questions for clarity and modifications but do not talk over your instructor or attempt to co-teach.
Not only are these things a disservice to you and your fellow students, sometimes they can be disrespectful to your instructor and classmates, not to mention dangerous.
4. Aim for more than just the picture moment (save that for competition). During all of your moves, you should be exercise full body awareness while also focusing on proper muscle engagement, efficient movement throughout the move, and clean transitions into and out of the move. I said all of that to say: be focused on more than just getting a good shot for IG.
5. Give it your all. Are you giving 110% or bare minimum? Not every class/practice session is going to be a home run game. We all experience days that are good, not so good and exceptional. All of these add up though. So the goal is to just show up and give it your all.