A coach is many different things. Some of the first words that come to mind are instructor, motivator, and director Some of us have been lucky enough to have had a coach or teacher that has touched our lives. Most coaches were athletes first, they have been in both shoes, and seen both sides of the playing field. In our sport of CrossFit most coaches are still athletes. It is important to remember the differences between being a coach and being an athlete.
Being the Coach
There is a privilege that comes a long with being a coach. People have trusted YOU to be their director. They have trusted in you to motivate them and help them a long when it gets hard. They have chosen you to instruct them on when they need something to be fixed or have a question about a movement. Being a coach is much more than just standing by and watching. It is being involved with your athletes. Ensuring that they get it and that whatever correction you have told them has stuck with them. If it has not then try again. Eventually they will understand it. You will have frustrating moments, it happens, but do not give up on someone. It is the most rewarding moment when an athlete feels the correct way to do something and this was because of you and your coaching. You will have those that choose not to listen. Nothing can be done about this. At the end of the day, if you have done everything in your power to make it better than your job is done.
CrossFit has become very big in a short amount of time. People are opening up affiliates left and right. It is a good thing as our sport continues to grow but when something gets this big there will be flaws. One of the biggest is bad coaching. The only way this is going to get better is if you, the athlete, speaks up. Your safety should be the biggest concern. You need to talk to their superior, if they are the superior it may be time to find a new box. Finding the right fit is finding a coach you love and feel safe with.
Being the Athlete
Always remember, your coach is your coach for a reason. Listen and you will learn so much. No question is a bad question, BUT if you had been listening there is a good chance you would not have had to ask it. Remember, this is your coaches job. They are there on their own time to help you. Let them. Take their advice and work hard to fix the issues they see. If you like the way you are doing it then do it tomorrow, while you are in this coaches class try and do it their way. Respect is key. Talking back to a coach in front of your peers makes you look very bad. Sometimes constructive criticism can be taken completely out of context. They are coaching you to be a better athlete. There is nothing in this world more rewarding then hearing your favorite coach tell you how good you look doing a movement, or how they can tell you have been working hard to fix your issues.
There are some cases that you have “that guy” or “that girl” in your class that just does not listen. We all know them. They put too much weight on the bar and their form deteriorates lift by lift. Your coach spends time with this person trying to tell them to drop the weight and focus on form but in the end it’s a lost battle. Don’t be this person. Guys, no offense, it is so hard to walk into the gym and see women doing work. She is using 10 more pounds than you on this workout, and you feel pretty ridiculous. DON’T. She has been doing CrossFit for 6 years and competes. Ladies, you walk into the gym and see a shirtless sweaty guy dropping barbells and grunting. Intimidating much? You think you are going to embarrass yourself, no worries, your coach is there to tell you otherwise and that no one (but them) is going to be paying attention to you during the workout. Everyone else is fighting to breathe and worried about themselves surviving at the moment.
Be open-minded. Listen. Learn. If you do these things you will be a better athlete. Your coach is not out to get you. They are out to help you. Let them.
"All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.”
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