advice wanted: polite way to tell coach I am stopping group lessons?
Seeking advice on how to tell the coach that travels to coach at the barn I ride at that I will no longer be joining in on weekly group lessons/jump schools?
I'm not really known for my tact and I've actually never had to have this conversation with a riding coach before.
It would be simple if I were moving, could not afford, etc., but it is a coaching issue that has made me decide that the arrangement isn't working.
Please instruct me on how to be tactful! This is someone I will still be seeing regularly, and I'm not sure how to proceed. I really don't like conflict, and want to make this is easy as possible for both coach and self. I don't feel like I need to air the issues, just want to let her know I won't be in the lessons from here on.
(I searched for similar threads but didn't have any luck.)
Be prepared for a question, such as a concerned, "Oh, is there a problem? Why are you taking a break?"
You will have to decide whether to outright lie, make up an evasive half-truth, or just tell the truth succinctly. Even if money is not the issue, you can say that you are going to be budgeting that lesson money on another project in the coming months. The trainer cannot argue that point with you, although she might inquire about the project.
"sorry, something's come up and i won't be able to join the group lesson for a while." and then don't. and then if you find yourself riding at the same time as the lesson, and s/he asks you to rejoin, sincerely say, "oh, thanks so much, but i'm not really sure what my schedule's going to be so i'd rather play it by ear for the moment. "
Gravity works, and the laws of physics are a bitch.
A while ago I was in a similar situation and I did exactly as suggested - said I was "taking a break for a while". When asked why I used the evasive, vague half-truth of "so much other stuff going on in my life right now". After starting lessons with another trainer I fibbed that a friend recommended the new trainer (internet search really) and the new approach reenergized my riding (this part is true).
Just be kind and pleasant. Don't get defensive and remember that you don't have to explain ALL of your reasons.
"I am sorry, but I won't be taking lessons." That is a complete sentence without using any evasion. If pressured, "I really do not want to discuss it. I will not be joining the group lessons." is also a complete sentence.