Can you be too competitive in the Pilates class room? Yes, you can…
A little bit of competition can be a good driver to help you stay focused on your goal, to stay on track and to progress. However, I’ve noticed that it can also have the opposite effect in the Pilates class room, which can be frustrating for us – Pilates teachers – as sometimes the people who don’t come back are the ones who need it most.
What is your Pilates goal?
Pilates is not meant to be competitive. It’s meant to be a way of exercising that helps to keep your body mobile, strong and flexible at any age, so it’s focused on you and you alone. Of course, maybe there has to be an element of wanting to be better to stay motivated… it is indeed a fine balance.
As one of my members bluntly told me ‘I would not come to your class just for the sake of it; I come because it helps me to be pain-free’. His motivation to get better at Pilates is to have a body that is free of aches and pain, so that he can enjoy his life without being restricted by his body.
Keeping the reason in mind why you wanted to take up Pilates definitely helps to keep your eye on your own goals. However, sometimes this motivation fades quickly when faced with a room full of people, all of which appear to be better at Pilates than you.
My advice? Ignore everyone.
First of all, nobody is going to be great at Pilates from day one (I wasn’t, for sure) because you can’t be good at something you’ve never done before.
Secondly, there is no prize to win for ‘best Pilates student’ and as a teacher I can assure what I love most is seeing progress and determination. It really doesn’t matter if at first you can’t hold certain poses or your legs are trembling uncontrollably, believe me.
And finally, be kind to yourself, give yourself the time to progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Consider it a journey and one that will continue to surprise you what your body is capable of. In general, people experience progress within weeks of starting Pilates and that can also help to keep you on track.
However, if you know that you just can’t help to feel competitive in a Pilates class, then try doing one-to-one classes instead, which takes away that element of competition so you can fully focus on your Pilates session. Or sign up to our newsletter and we will let you know when our Pilates programmes launch later this year, so that you can practise in the comfort of your own home, which can also offer a great solution.