I feel awful about this…Out of my 10+years of teaching group exercise classes, this is the first time that I have wanted to kick a participant out. I have had a young woman come to my kickboxing class 3 times now with a group of friends, she clearly doesn’t want to be there, but she comes anyway. She is disruptive (answering her phone when it rings, she stops and yells, “if she makes me jump one more time!”, stands in the middle of the class with the biggest attitude and won’t do anything). I swear, It’s completely disruptive, and no matter how much I try to motivate her, she is the biggest Debbie Downer! Has anyone else experienced anything like this before?
I have not only wanted to, I did. In my case it was a gentleman who absolutely did not belong in my class because of concerns for his safety. He did not like it one bit when I asked him to leave but he did.
Your situation is different, though, and a lot more difficult than mine, particularly since she comes with a group of friends, and you do not want to end up alienating the entire group.
However, you will need to summon your courage to have a conversation with her. It is no good telling her that a bad attitude destroys the positive feeling of the class. That’s no reason to ask her to leave. I would tell her that her behavior distracts you to the point that you are not always able to pay the needed attention to ALL class participants, and thus the safety of the class is at stake. She has been in your class already three times, so you have some examples. Make this an issue about safety which nobody can argue with, not her attitude or stuff like that, and you may have success. This will also bring the other participants on your side (they are already because they are probably just as annoyed) of the argument.
I wish you good luck.
If one person disrupts the whole class then it’s your job to do your best to ensure the safety of the rest of the participants and the positive flow of the class. There are a number of other clients who want to be there and are taking the class seriously, not to mention they have paid money for it and are expecting results. Even though I haven’t faced this situation before, if faced with it, I would have a private conversation with the woman and explain why she is no longer welcome to attend class, and I’d refund her for any unused classes. It’s just not fair to the other participants, and kicking her out will send a message to the majority that you care about their experience in your class and their success. Who knows–people may (or may have already) stop coming to your class because of this woman as well.