The Demo: Sacred Ground

Demos can set the tone for an incredible learning experience. Here’s how to make the most of yours.


That moment when the coach stops talking. The room gets silent. There’s only movement.

It’s powerful.

I’m talking about the “demo.” When the coach or an assistant is demoing a movement, it’s sacred. We know, after all, that humans are stereotypically visually biased learners. The demo is an introduction to everything they are about to learn. In many ways, a great demo can set the tone for an incredible learning experience, while a poor demo can set a room full of athletes up for a great deal of cleanup work.

In our Coach’s Prep program at Deuce Gym, we like to say that the demo is sacred. We urge our coaches and student coaches to be silent. They take pride in showing their audience “the standard.”

Small adjustments can make all the difference for a great demo. If you want to stand out and take your demo abilities from average to excellent, there are a couple of basic things that can help. First, secure the attention of the audience by not distracting their senses. If they have to listen to you and watch you, they are distracted. Silence is powerful. Just a few moments of silence can create tunnel-like focus. Try it.

In addition, the simple change in intention is often a game changer. As a coach, the moment you make the demo your “Super Bowl” of movement everyone will take notice. Attention to detail is everything. If you have to, create an environment among coaches that is hypercompetitive and/or hypercritical of movement demos.

It may seem small, but this small change can shift your entire gym’s value. The demo is sacred ground, after all. Treat it that way!