A great coach is the difference between success and failure. After the Groupons, marketing books, advertising gurus and pricing strategies it all comes down to one thing, the coach. Do they have the right combination of personality and knowledge to push not piss off your athletes? Are they charismatic and looked up too? People are paying top dollar so you better give them the best. All the marketing tips in the world will not help a gym with lazy coaches. So sit back, grab a paleo treat, set your ego in another room (seriously get rid of the ego) and be ready to evaluate your coaching, people, and presentation skills.
Being the best CrossFit coach is not about who has the biggest deadlift, fastest fran or has read every article in the CrossFit Journal. It involves the combination of two things, technical information and presentation. It is when the two combine in perfect symmetry that the best coach is born. Technical information with the right presentation is what creates physical and emotional changes in people’s lives. You know what technical information is, but the presentation encompasses, flow of the class, personality of the trainer, and delivery of the content. Do not get overwhelmed I will break down just how to develop the perfect blend
#1 Study, Test, Adjust- First you must develop a fundamental understanding of the technical information. Reading, studying and getting certified is the start, but just as they say at all the Level One CrossFit Certifications “you need to get out there and apply this new knowledge.” Until you start teaching people the new information it will all be, just information. Practice with clients enables the coach to learn what people respond to and apply that with the next client. Study the material, test your skills, then adjust your presentation for every client depending on their skill, age, gender, mobility, and personality. Become a student of fitness.
#2 Simplicity is Golden- Now once you have all this knowledge you must do everything in your power to simplify the most technical movements into three simple steps. Why three? Well because of the Rule of Three- Go, Fight, Win…..Warm-up, Workout, Cool Down…..Stance, Grip, Posture. Things in three’s are easy to remember and comprehend. However, while someone is moving you need to break it down to one cue. Yes one thing. If during a clean you told someone “keep a big chest while you stand, finish your shrug, and quick elbows. I guarantee they would not execute all three. Give them one thing, perfect it then move onto the next.
#3 A Road Map- For this one I am taking a page from Steve Jobs. During his amazing presentations he created a road map that was easy to follow. In the beginning he always introduced what his awesome presentation was going to be about. This gives you a visual image of what to expect. Below is a video showing you just how he does it…
In the beginning of this post I told you exactly what makes a good CrossFit Coach then I continued to break it down in a few simple steps. Now you must translate this into coaching a class full of individuals at all different skill levels and abilities. That is where practice, patience and presentation come in. Start with the presentation of introducing an endurance, skill, benchmark or strength WOD. Give clear and concise directions make sure you get to the point and always ask for questions. It might be as easy as tying your shoes for some coaches, but I have witnessed some ugly workout presentations and this sets up the tone for the whole class.
I will keep my on rule in mind and stop with three tips on how to improve as a CrossFit coach. There are three more tips I will save for part two of this series. I will also include an evaluation guide you can use in your box to keep your trainers in check.
In the meantime drop me a comment and let me know what you think of the first three?