Question #8: How much time should I spend planning sessions?

Great question!

Planning for client sessions and classes can be very time consuming for sure. As a new teacher, it may be necessary to plan ahead so you have a clear direction for the session. What you may find though is that often times that plan will go out the window once the client comes in and shares how they are feeling that day. That valuable time spent is then all for not, how frustrating.

A solution is to jot down some ideas for your session based on what you know about that client as far as needs and goals, but avoid scripting the full session. Leave room for flexibility and re-direction as needed. Perhaps plan for a planning time allowance of 5-10 minutes max. per client.

Definitely keep clear notes in a file detailing the exercises done in the previous session, what you observed, and what the client reported. This step can be done quickly during sessions or right after while the details are fresh in your mind so you are not spending even more time (especially unpaid) with this task. In time, these notes will become your framework for future sessions without requiring advance planning.

As time goes on and you gain more experience, and you also get to know your clients better, you will spend less and less time planning. Your confidence will grow and you will be able to trust your instincts and skills of observation, plus you will have lots of tools in your toolbox to pull out as the need presents.

Try not to shove yourself into a box when it comes to your teaching. Teach the body in front of you, and listen to what your client tells you and what you observe in their body. You will get the information you need to guide you where to go.

We love your questions! Please send along to to be discussed in a future Ask Holly.

Written by
Holly Wallis, Certified Movement & Rehabilitation Specialist, PMA®-CPT
Director of US Operations, Body Harmonics Pilates & Movement Institute
Studio Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 LaSalle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

© Movement Monthly 2018. All rights reserved.

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