What it’s like to be a Rabble instructor

In Player Stories, Rabble news by Charlotte

If you’ve ever thought of doing something new, you’ve probably felt nervous. It’s human to be nervous about new things. However, it shouldn’t stop you from actually doing it. Sometimes we just need a little advice or experience, and if you’ve ever thought about becoming an instructor for Rabble, then read on!

We asked a few of our instructors some questions about their Rabble journey so far to get a sense of what it’s like to be an instructor, including the benefits, their challenges, fears and advice.

When did you decide to become an Instructor and why?

There are many reasons to become an instructor, but at the heart of it, it’s down to fun and helping people get fit.

“I went to a session in Manchester and thought it was some of the most fun I had had doing exercise. As I already coached kids, trying to make sessions as fun as possible, I thought Rabble was just what I was looking to get into.”

“I had been a Rabbler for almost two years when I decided to finally make the leap to the other side. I had seen a couple of other friends make the transition already (Josh and Steve), and after a bit of persuasion from some friends who thought I’d be good at the job, I decided to give it a go.”

How did you find out about Rabble?

We’re in many locations all across the country, and there are many ways to find out about Rabble. It’s no different for our instructors.

“My girlfriend goes to it in Manchester, so she told me how great it was.”

“When I originally joined Rabble back in January 2015, I had heard about it through “Time Out” and decided it was the perfect New Year Resolution. I was looking to get fit and shape up, but was also new to London and wanted to make some new friends. This fit the bill perfectly and I’ve not looked back since!”



What was your biggest fear before joining?

Everyone is nervous when they start something new, and whilst our instructors might be gaming superheroes, they are also only human.

“My first session as a player was met with trepidation as I arrived to Finsbury Park on a cold Saturday morning in January and the heavens opened! I honestly couldn’t believe what I was letting myself in for, but within minutes of approaching Rabble I was smiling, laughing and put totally at ease. They were so friendly and I had one of the most fun exercise sessions, slipping and sliding around in the mud!”

“That I wasn’t going to be able to be enthusiastic enough during sessions to motivate and engage with the group.”


How do you fit being a Rabble instructor into your everyday life and If Rabble isn’t your full-time job, what do you do? 

A lot of our instructors have jobs outside of their sessions, so it’s always interesting to hear how they fit Rabble in or implement their work skills into their sessions.

“I have a full-time job working in digital marketing for a charity, so it’s not always easy to juggle both things. But I live, breathe and incessantly talk about Rabble. My friends at work joke that I’m in a cult!!

Seriously though, I plan my sessions properly because I want the players that turn up to have the best time working out. I write my sessions out in my ‘secret’ pink playbook, and call on more experienced instructors occasionally when I have questions.

Instructing a Rabble session has quickly become one of the things I look forward to in a working week – it doesn’t matter what mood I’m in or how stressful my day has been before I arrive; within seconds of greeting the first participant I’m cheered up and having a great time!”


“I coach hourly football, basketball, tennis and multi sports classes on a daily basis to kids from 4 up to 18.

So it fits in very easily, I was usually free at night and at weekends anyway. It has allowed me to see friends more often in fact. I coach hourly football, basketball, tennis and multi sports classes on a daily basis to kids from 4 up to 18.”



How did you find the training process? 

We offer a training course for all our instructors to make sure that they’re all set and good to go before starting their sessions.

“Training was pretty straightforward as I’ve been playing for so long, so I already had a good grasp of the objective/s of each game and, most usefully, some common loopholes that players can spot! I started off just leading the warm up and the cool down, but quickly graduated up to leading the whole session. Instructor extraordinaire Henry trained me, so I knew I was in safe hands.”

“I thought it was really well run, all the information was conveyed in a very clear manner. You were made to feel part of the team right away, which has proven to be the Rabble way! As someone who isn’t very confident, I found that the training really helped to build my confidence, not only in being able to instruct games, but also in socialising with the players and the other instructors.”


What has been your favourite standout moment so far about being an instructor for Rabble?

There’s always great benefits to instructing our sessions, whether it’s meeting new people or having a great time.

“I love the group of friendly faces who have become my regular players. For me, we have a laugh for an hour running around the park like a group of grown children, then head to the pub for a catch up and some food.”

“Just how nice it is to see such a mix of people getting on and playing / working as a team without any conflict. Had a lot of positive comments after sessions, from people who hated PE at school because  they were left out, or picked on about how inclusive they find Rabble and how they feel like they are actually able to do it and are needed.”


What has been your favourite instructor fail so far?

We all fail sometimes, but we’re all about fun, it doesn’t matter what happens as long as we’re having a laugh.


“A few weeks ago, I was demonstrating how to do a star jump, but slipped on a ball as I planted my foot to land. Needless to say it ended with me landing on my arse in an embarrassed fit of laughter, but at least the newbies knew they wouldn’t make more of a tit of themselves than I already had!”

“After a session had finished, I wanted to try the vortex out, so one of the players ran out far so I could throw it to them. When he threw it back, it became clear that it was going to potentially hit someone on the head. So I ran after it and jumped, tipping it away from the group of people. However, I landed on one of the very people I was trying to save, knocking us both down. That person was my girlfriend’s mum… (she was completely fine).”



What surprised you the most about becoming an instructor and what was your biggest challenge?

Since Rabble is so unique, sessions will always throw up some surprises.

“It’s not as easy as it looks! It takes real skill to explain the rules succinctly and clearly, spotting those loopholes and keeping an eye on those cheeky players who bend the rules! There are so many things to think about, often all at once, but I enjoy instructing even more than I even thought I would!”

“That I was able to create a fun environment that everyone seemed to enjoy. Promoting and spreading the word about Rabble.”



What were some difficulties you encountered when you started instructing at Rabble and how did you overcome them?

Everyone comes across some hurdles at some point, but you’re in safe hands at Rabble.

“Keeping score of two teams simultaneously or adding up cones for scores at the end of a round has proved a challenge on occasion. Quick maths is not my strong point! Fortunately for me, it is for other people so I let them add up, and I have clickers now to keep the score!”

“Sometimes the timing of sessions has been difficult to get right. I overcame this by setting out pitches more fully before the session, and by using a stop watch.”


What level of support did you receive and how did it help?

We ensure that all of our instructors have the backup they need to succeed.

“After each session I delivered during training, I’d receive feedback from Henry so I could get a sense of how I could improve. It was very encouraging to hear that it was just minor tweaks I needed to make and as Henry reminded me, no one is absolutely perfect at something straight away, it takes practise and time to get it right!”

“The support has been tremendous, any questions or help I’ve needed has been sorted very quickly. I have been given a great amount of encouragement as well, that has really helped my confidence.”



What advice would you give to someone becoming a Rabble instructor?

If you’ve been thinking of becoming an instructor, here’s some advice from people who have been there and done that.
“Play the games for a bit just as a participant, first. I honestly think that has been the most helpful part of my transition to instructor, because I have true appreciation of how frustrating games can be when they’re not refereed correctly, or if there are obvious ways to bend the rules or not even out the scoring opportunities. You don’t truly understand someone until you’ve run a Rabble session in their shoes (so the saying goes…)”

“Don’t worry about what people think about you; people will enjoy it if you enjoy it!”

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