Sarah is our instructor in Bicester, Oxfordshire. She’s been running sessions for a few months now and has had an incredible turn out to her sessions. So what better thing to do than congratulate her and for her to share her advice on how she did it!
Why did you get into the Fitness Industry and what were you doing beforehand?
I’m a freelance writer and portrait photographer (www.sarahplater.com), which means I spend a lot of time working at home, writing and editing. I wanted a way to meet more locals and an excuse to get me out of the house more regularly!
How did you hear about Rabble?
I read about it in Time Out London magazine, and desperately wanted to play, but it was too far to travel in for on a regular basis.
Why did you choose to become a Rabble instructor amongst all the other fitness concepts?
I chose to become a Rabble instructor because I absolutely believed in the concept. I find anything repetitive boring: the gym, exercise classes, jogging. But I love moving and being active. Running around the playground was the highlight of my school years, and it’s sad that as adults we don’t get so many opportunities to play, just for fun’s sake. You don’t have to tell or bribe children to play these types of games, because they are intrinsically rewarding.
Thanks to Rabble, adults can once again experience the thrill of trying to outmanoeuvre someone who is trying to tag you, to race up and down a pitch while bouncing a giant yoga ball, to be silly, play and have fun. Oh, and they get fit too, but that’s almost secondary.
How have you found instructing so far? Is there anything that surprised you?
It takes a little time to get things going, and I am not a patient person, so that was frustrating. However, I soon had a core group of people attending, and they loved the concept as much as I do, which made the sessions so rewarding to deliver. These are your hardcore Rabble players, who come even if it’s cold, raining or nearly Christmastime. They gently remind new players of the rules if the new players get stuck. They get involved in all the socials, and mention Rabble when they hear of other locals who are interested in joining something fitness-related.
How would you describe your Rabble community?
They are a really varied mix of people with one thing in common: they have made time for a little more fun in their lives. There’s great banter on and off the pitch, such an inclusive feeling on each of the teams, and the heartiest of cheers when you score, or make it through the Gladiators’ Gauntlet.
What’s your favourite Rabble game?
I love Hand Hockey, partly because everyone cheers when I announce it as a contrast game – it’s the favourite of so many of my players. I also love Nesketball, as there are so many quick, short variations on the games. Each round adds another option of play, until the very last round when almost anything goes and it becomes almost chaotic on the field. Everyone is laughing and joking while chasing a four foot inflatable ball up and down.
What do you like to do outside of Rabble?
I split my time between freelance writing for magazines and capturing relaxed family portraits. You can see examples of my work at www.sarahplater.com. I’ve authored four non-fiction books, so I’m often promoting those, and I’m just about to launch a portrait photography skills site, masteringportraitphotography.com, so that’s been keeping me busy lately! Outside of that, I love reading, watching films and being outdoors.
Do you have any post Rabble favourite social spots?
There’s a sports pavilion right next to the pitch we play on, so we tumble straight in there after sessions. There’s always plenty of room, the drinks are cheap, and it’s about 30 seconds away from my house, so I practically fall out of one door and into the other. I am so lucky to have such great facilities on my doorstep: brand new, floodlit, all-weather pitches.#
Do you have any advice for a new Rabble instructor?
Expect it to take a little while to build your core of regularly-attending players. Be everywhere before you launch, then track what worked and continue doing that. For me, joining local Facebook Groups and posting about Rabble sessions when there’s a relevant thread has led to the majority of new players.
What would you say to a new player who’s thinking about coming along to join you?
You probably feel a bit nervous: “Will I be fit enough? Will everyone be friendly? Will I be able to catch the ball?”
I could tell you that the games are designed for all abilities, that you can take a breather anytime, and push as easy or hard as you’re ready for. I could tell you what a fun, cheerful and friendly bunch Rabble players are, and that you’ll get better at catching the ball the more times you try. But fear is a strong emotion that too often stops us trying something new, even if there’s no rational basis for it.
So I’d like to ask this instead: what’s on the other side of your fear? If you are worried about any of the things listed above (or have other fears), but you came and gave it a try anyway, what really is the worst-case scenario? You might get a bit puffed out, you might have to make a bit of small talk to get to know people, you might drop the ball. All these things could happen (probably will), but you might still love it. You might feel the biggest high when you score a goal, or run the Gladiator’s Gauntlet. You might find yourself getting fitter than you’ve ever been before, because you’re so immersed in playing the games. You might be over the moon to finally have found exercise that you look forward to doing, rather than dread. And missing out on all that is a far, far worse than facing the small fear of trying something new.