Why CrossFit Coaches Get it All Wrong

Does your coach do these things?!

Eating While Coaching Not only is this not tasteful (see what I did there?) but it’s downright rude. If a doctor came into a patient's room snacking on their lunch, there is a good chance that doctor won’t have a thriving practice. Imagine a professor lecturing in front of university students while simultaneously slurping on a baby food packet. Successful coaches (of any sport) need to show attentiveness and professionalism.

On a societal level we expect the doctor we are visiting or the professor we are learning from to provide us with their highest level of communication and expertise. Why would we expect anything less from a CrossFit coach? Often times CrossFit coaches will workout before the class they coach. If your schedule only permits this, great! It’s fantastic to hear your making your own fitness a priority too.

Tips of the trade: shower, eat, and plan a few extra minutes to allow yourself to regroup and recenter before your class. Every member walking in is counting on you to help lead them through a successful session. Eating while coaching screams “I HAVE POOR TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS.” Try starting your workout an extra 20 minutes sooner so you have time to adequately fuel BEFORE coaching your class.

Texting While Coaching If you’re a coach and fall into this bucket, on behalf of society, I am SO sorry to hear you thought (even for a moment) this was acceptable. If your spouse is 9 months pregnant and you have your phone in your pocket in case you need to rush her to the hospital… fine (and congrats!) Everyone understands outlier situations happen. Being a coach means coaching others. Every second a coach has their nose in a screen is another second a member/client may have missed out on a valuable cue. Sure the class went out for a quick run… but does that mean coaches should run to their phones? Put the phone down and keep your eyes up. Your clients are your world right now. Instagram or your new Bumble connection can wait.

Working out with the Class ​​If you want to join a class to get a good workout in and be a part of your community - GREAT! Drop in to any class that you don’t coach. Choose your role before walking in the door. Are you the leading today or actively participating? Are you there to make the members better or to make yourself better? Decide if you want to thrive.

Facebook and Instagram Live You can’t lead your tribe efficiently with a screen in your face or hands. It’s that simple. Every moment a coach has a bright blue screen reflecting in their face, even if it’s reflecting the class, is a moment missed with the members. If the gym is struggling to get in new members, try spending more time on coaching and less time on your phone during classes… Maybe the gym’s word of mouth referrals will increase. WHO KNOWS. But one thing is for certain - nobody got better at squat mechanics or diaphragmatic breathing while standing next to a “professional” with a phone in their hands.

Doing ANYTHING Else While Coaching (except, ya know.. actually coaching) What else could coaches possibly be doing while coaching? Talking to people outside of the class, cheerleading instead of actually cueing, and sneaking in reps or mobilizing are all (arguably) unacceptable behaviors of a coach. Anyone can wear a shirt with the word “coach” on it. Anyone can get clients (and even progress them) while doing any of the things mentioned above. The point is, coaching is an art form and a science. To be a “good” coach, there are multiple facets to master such as components of human behavior, biological mechanics, and leadership. The first step to becoming a better coach/trainer/human is to recognize where you’re excelling and where you could improve.

​​5 Questions coaches should ask themselves daily:

1) Am I giving my clients/class the attention and guidance they need?

2) Am I providing a service I would also want to sign-up for?

3) Where is my energy being placed?

4) What feedback am I getting?

5) What could I be doing right now to set the best example for my clients/class?