Informing members of substitute instructors?

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Over the years, as participant, instructor, and overall observer of life practices, I’ve noticed that some gyms do not like to let members know when a substitute instructor is coming in. Some gyms have a schedule where they list the class as well as the instructor. Others choose to not highlight the instructor and only show the class in an effort to prevent favoritism.

The thing is that the participants will learn who’s in there on what day, and whether or not you like it, they will pick their favorites. That’s just the way it is, and that’s fine, it’s life. So when a favorite instructor is out, the gyms don’t want the members to know, that’s why some of them don’t list the person teaching. They think that the usual instructor’s loyal followers will not show up for a sub. It is a fact that this will happen, I guarantee that some of them will not come. But so what? It’s better they know ahead of time, rather than to have them come and then leave. I always tell instructors to give a heads up that I’m coming, because I don’t like to surprise members in a bad way.

My view on this is and always has been that they should tell the members right away. By doing so, those who don’t want to try someone new have the option to stay home or to give them a try. It’s about giving them the power to choose and not wasting their commute, time, money, etc, which at the end of the day then ends up with them angry about being misled. It’s best to tell them and give them the choice to stay home.

If someone doesn’t like me, or a fellow instructor, it’s better that they know beforehand so they can make an informed decision. I disagree with the other tactic of letting them find out when they show up. As a participant, it makes me livid to arrive expecting a certain instructor, and then being surprised by another. Granted, it doesn’t piss me off too much if the sub is good, but if they are someone who I think sucks, then I get mad! So I understand where they are coming from.

I want people to know when its me teaching, and if the room happens to be a bit lighter because of it, so be it! At least we will know that the people who are there, actually want to be there.


The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author.

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