Working with private clients is an excellent way to fill the gaps in your schedule and make an even more meaningful difference to people’s lives. You get the chance to work with one client for an hour and give them your undivided attention. For some, this is an exciting adventure. And for others, a terrifying task. What if a client comes in with an issue and you don’t know what to do? What if they don’t see the value or want to come back?

We’ve noticed that there are 5 common issues that come up when working with private clients. Once you’re aware of them, you can do something about them and build confidence in your private client practice.

Scheduling issues 

It’s a fact. Life happens, people’s schedules change and sometimes we have to juggle and deal with last minute changes. It’s important we realize this, but not let it set a precedence or get carried away.

People are creatures of habit. We like routine and are more likely to commit to something if it’s part our weekly schedule.

Setting a regular time with clients and emphasizing the importance of routine will help them stay successful and will also help you get regularity in your schedule. When booking clients, make sure to book back to back so you’re not waiting around for 12 hours to teach four.

Talking to people in classes about doing privates 

Most people go to a Pilates class for one of three reasons: they like the group environment, the cost is lower or they don’t know private sessions are available.

When you’re teaching, you may see someone who’s trying really hard but just not “getting it” or someone who has issues that require more attention than you can give them in class.

It’s important to let them know private sessions are available and offer them the opportunity to take their movement practice to a whole other level. If cost is an issue, coming once every month is a great option that is manageable for most. And if they love the group setting, encourage them to try it and give them the best experience they’ve ever had so they want to come back to work with you!

Staying motivated with clients who don’t change 

When you begin to work with someone every week or sometimes two to three times a week, it may be difficult to see major changes from session to session. Set your intentions for the long haul and keep the end game in mind. Watch for small wins and create relevance to clients when they get curious about something.

Knowing more about specific issues 

When you work with private clients, issues will come up. These can range from low back issues, to spinal stenosis, SI joints, hyper mobility and more. Working one on one will give you the time and ability to customize your programming to suit their needs.

Basic Pilates training programs cover repertoire and some offer modifications for conditions. We noticed teachers had more and more questions about client issues, so we created an extensive continuing education program at Body Harmonics that has nearly 40 workshops for movement and health professionals to attend.

It’s important that once you’re certified you continue to learn and grow your teaching skills, knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and a variety of issues. The more clients you begin to work with, the more issues will come up for you to explore and work with.

Moving from small talk to meaningful talk

When working with a client one on one, you will get to know them through the conversations you have. These conversations are important to build a relationship. Meaningful cues and guidance through exercises is also important. You must learn to toggle back and forth between the two.