If you're moving your sessions online this week, here are some notes about kids. At TeamUp, we work from home. Lots of us have children and teenagers, and a few of us even have new babies. While we don't teach fitness classes, we do have a lot of experience mixing our professional lives with our family soundscapes.
With schools already shut or shutting soon, some of your clients will have kids in the background. And if you have kids at home, your online sessions might have to get child-friendly too. This article explores some ways that you can help your clients and keep your classes productive, even with little ones running around.
Switching some or all sessions online
Many businesses are preparing or already switching sessions to be online. There are a range of benefits to doing this, not least because you can keep members healthy and working towards their goals during a lockdown.
Running online sessions with your kids
If you don't have childcare you could try running the sessions with your kids. Ask them if they would help you instruct the session and accept that it won't be as easy but it will be very humanising, especially if your clients have kids too. If it's simply not possible, then you may be restricted to quiet times or evenings and early mornings.
Making it movie hour
Finding times during the days when your kids are calm to run the sessions may be a practical solution. It depends on many factors that you will know well as a parent. One way is to stimulate kids during the day and then allow them movie time during the session. Some kids are very happy to do this, others not so (Tim, the writer of this article, has four kids in the latter camp!).
What to do about interruptions
Work any interruption into your session and treat it with humour and kindness. It reflects well on you. Remember the BBC reporter whose kids invaded his interview (always worth a re-watch)? He only made it worse because he reacted badly. He could have acted like it was not a problem at all and gone with it and the audience would not have minded at all - in fact, he would have been a hero dad!
Recording sessions so clients can play them back
If your clients are part of the front-line teams or just can't make some sessions due to kids, you can record and let them not miss out. It's not ideal, so try to encourage your members to join. But, exceptions may be welcome. Making it easy for your clients and avoiding making them feel guilty will be helpful.
Helping your clients
Keeping your clients stay fit and healthy during a lockdown is providing incredible value and support. Most of your clients will empathise with the challenges.
Two-way video to help instruct
Watching what your clients are doing and giving them feedback keeps the value in what you do. If you are pre-recording it might get people by but two-way video is where the real value will be.
If clients have kids at home, you could try offering family sessions where everyone is welcome to join in. This is going to be a harder session for your clients and they may not get as many gains, but it's good for the whole family's health, and that is a real benefit. Tiring out the kids and getting them to burn some energy off could be a lifesaver for your clients.
Alternatively, you could give your clients a break by offering a kids-only session. They get them set up and then have a period to focus on something else.
Problems with finances
If some clients can't afford to keep their membership going, it's best to be understanding and responsive. To find out how to reduce memberships within TeamUp, read this support section.
Cancelling due to kids
The most important thing is to communicate clearly and to offer an alternative. Your client may be looking forward to the session (it may well be the highlight of the day) so don't let them down... do the session later and give them something to look forward to. Everyone is in the same boat so work together so everyone keeps their goals going.
We'd love to hear stories from your first online sessions about how your kids handled things! Please get in touch and let us know how you are getting on, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More resources we've prepared for you to help you run and manage online classes during a lockdown: