Be a Better Instructor: Move With Integrity

I’ve been teaching for years, and one of the many things I’ve learned from The willPower Method® is that I can inspire other people to change their lives forever.  This being said – I need to be BELIEVABLE! My students need to trust me, and therefore, I practice being the best role model I can be – both for them… and for myself. Please accept some words of wisdom, and allow me to be your willPower coach today.

1. Remember why you do what you do. Why do you teach willPower & grace®?

  • Recall an amazing class you taught. Does it light you up to think about it?
  • Do you find yourself speaking passionately about your classes to perfect strangers?
  • Is your reason for teaching wP&g still valid and/or increased tenfold?
  • If you answered “no” to any of above questions, consider whether your passion is now elsewhere and please move on. Last year, my trainer thanked me for her decision to quit group fitness. She explained, “because I want to sound as animated as you do…and I don’t!”

2. Do you ever downplay your teaching?

  • “Me? Oh, I’m just a group fitness instructor…”, “I do this on the side. My ‘real job’ is ___.”
  • Realize what you are saying to the world includes yourself.
  • If you are broadcasting the message, “this is trivial” or “teaching is (or I am) not worth much”, then this message will manifest in your teaching, and other places in your life.
  • For most of us, group fitness is not our primary source of income, but it doesn’t trivialize the role we play in this world (read on…)

3. You never know who you might be saving today.

  • Suit up and show up. This is a fitness emergency. The world needs you. The healthcare system needs you.
  • People desperately need to move and to move better. Many are giving up and sitting on their couches.
  • YOU provide hope and inspiration that it is possible.
  • You may never know the situation that your student is in, outside the gym.  If she is coming to see you, she NEEDS YOU.

4. Connect with your students.

  • Take advantage of the uninterrupted space and the “liveness” of the interaction that you have as you host your 60 minute experience.
  • Cultivate this sacred practice away from technology and engage with honest eye-to-eye goodness.
  • Understand and feel the difference between performing and teaching… how the connection dynamic changes when you arrive to give. 
  • Person-to-person proximity and interaction… our humanness… is diminishing. This 1-hour class is a precious gathering of souls… a gift to yourself… a gift to society.15 min plank

5. Honor your voice privilege.

  • Realize you are the only one with a mic. Respect the mic, and the sounds that you make.
  • How does it feel to be in a one-way conversation? Keep that in mind when choosing your words and sharing your experiences. Practice humility.
  • Reference your life to create authenticity in what you say, but tailor the content to allow for broader interpretation. This way, students can relate and make the concept work for them personally.

overly-specific: “My washer broke and it flooded my basement.”
generic: “There are days when it’s difficult to keep our head above water. Let’s reach for the rope above to pull us out.

6. Set your intentions for the day. Realistically, what can and do you want to get done today? When you are successful, you will feel your self-control as a power.  Your students will feel it too.
  • Schedule appointments with yourself.
  • Create boundaries to control your day.
  • Break down your willPower goals into bite-sized morsels.
  • Check out my recent willPower blog post, “When the intensity builds…”
7. Marinate in the WoW with images, words, feelings, and events. It really works.
  • Relate it to your life and experience.
  • Reflect and revisit it throughout the week.
  • Develop some WoW specific cues.
  • Catch yourself using the WoW outside of class!
  • I create new images each week for Facebook.  Use these, in addition to the willPower posts.  Share them on your wall, and on your gym’s wall to inspire your students and clients.
8. Revitalize through education.
  • Attend Summit. It’s amazing.
  • Schedule wIN time every week – it’s got good stuff.
  • Learn a new willPower format.  I teach infusion® now (pictured), and I love it.
  • Attend (take) other classes (The willPower Method® or otherwise).
  • Read books and articles, and connect it back to willPower.
  • Get creative. Expand your horizons. Follow whatever ‘blows your skirt up’!
9. Connect teaching to the rest of your life.
  • Why do you teach? How does it fit in with everything else?
  • Recognize the strengths and positive spillovers to the rest of your life.
  • Be the author of your own unique story in which teaching plays a leading role in your character growth and development.
  • Literally, be an author! Write a blog post for writing can be cathartic.
  • Reposition teaching from a “to-do” item to something that propels you toward your dreams and aspirations.  
10. Protect your most precious asset… your energy.
  • Take care of yourself, nurture your body, set boundaries and schedule enough you-time.
  • It’s nearly impossible to be creative when you are run-down.
  • Your class needs you to be present and to set a positive example of self-care and fitness.
  • Read my most recent willPower Blog post: When The Intensity Builds
11. Utilize willPower & grace outside of willPower & grace®!
  • I  honestly infuse The willPower Method® in all of my classes, my career, competition prep, and relationships.
  • willPower & grace® is everywhere you allow it in!

Sarah IngmanSarah_I_headhshotson is an elite instructor of The willPower Method®, certified in willPower & grace® and willPower infusion®, in addition to other branded formats. Sarah is a nationally ranked NPC Bikini athlete, placing 5th at North Americans, 7th at the Arnold, and 10th at Nationals. Outside the gym, Sarah is an Executive Director at a leading investment bank, where she specializes in Japan and Corporate Finance. Sarah earned her MBA/MA joint-degree at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving the 2004 Thesis Prize for her dissertation on Japanese Corporate Pensions. She was a 1999 Fulbright Scholar to Japan and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Tufts University in International Relations (Japan) and Quantitative Economics.

willPower Education Team

willPower Education Team

willPower Teacher Trainers and Development Coaches guided by program creator, Stacey Lei Krauss. This Team develops tools to enhance your professional skills and fuel your motivation.


  1. Tiffany Noel
    Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 12:40 pm ·

    Sarah, you are awesome and truly inspiring! I love your perspective… You are so right! Walk the walk, baby!

  2. Casey Dawson
    Friday, October 25th, 2013 at 2:15 pm ·

    Thanks for the reminders! This is a must read for all group fitness instructors!

  3. Jennifer DeLuccia
    Jennifer DeLuccia
    Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm ·

    Great tips Sarah! I love all that you are doing! xoxo

  4. Angela Harwell
    Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 10:02 am ·

    Thank you Sarah! I love these inspiring, motivational words and as an instructor it’s important to remember these vital elements of teaching and sharing.

  5. Jody Diaz
    Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 at 10:10 am ·

    Sarah thank you so much for all of the tips! You really inspire and refresh other instructors!

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