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Tex | 02.10.2012
As we continue with our coaching series, Chris‘ entry looks not only into coaching, but further into the foundation of a quality program and it’s community. These are great things to take into account when looking for not only a coach you enjoy, but a gym as a whole as well. Please take your time, maybe read this one twice, and post your thoughts to comments. Thank you Chris for sharing.
Depth of Knowledge PLUS breadth of Understanding: These are not the same thing, though they are inextricably intertwined. Depth of knowledge, unsurprisingly, is simply how much a coach can tell you – how much they know. Practical experience should always be favored over straight education. Breadth of Understanding is a coaches ability to apply their knowledge to a variety of situations and athletes. In short, how many ways can a coach explain something? Do they simply repeat something over and over, or can they step back and rephrase something a number of times until an athlete understands it. This can be a movement, or it can be a question about nutrition, programming, coaching styles, etc. However, both of these are affected by a coach’s…
Knowledge Filter: do they deliver info in doses, providing deeper insight as you grow, or do they develop verbal diarrhea every time they’re explaining something and just brain dump their entire knowledge bank on you.
Interaction: How do they coach? Are they watching the athletes, or are they trying to get in a workout themselves (or worse, off in the corner on the phone/computer)? Are they hands on, or are their arms constantly crossed? Are they walking around or sitting down? Do they berate everyone; Do they praise everyone; or do they blend their praise with points of improvement? Can they cue you from across the room without saying anything?
Remember, what a coach knows is important, but how they deliver it is just as important. A library without doors is pretty useless to anyone.
Also, judge how coaches implement their programming, not just on what their programming is like.
Adaptability: can they modify or scale their program, whether day-to-day or long-term, to suit everyone’s needs? A lot of people pay lip service to this part of CrossFit, but it’s the essential basic of coaching that I think get’s overlooked a lot of the time (which is how you end up with “competition focused” boxes, that can’t be bothered to scale things down and so deal only with the high level athletes)
Assessment: What’s their test out like? Does it focus on testing movements and abilities, or is it simply a straight ripoff of a CF Games 2012 WOD? As a coach, when you’re new to the gym, I don’t really care how long you can do something (I’ll learn that soon enough), I care about how well you can do it.
Foundations: Who teaches their foundations? Is it a head coach, or their newly certified L1 (or worse, an uncertified intern). Personally, I believe that a program that’s interested in really developing their athletes will put their most knowledgeable people in charge of teaching the least experienced people.
Community/Camaraderie: While camaraderie amongst a community may seem like it would be predicated on the make-up of the community, remember that the coach dictates the direction of that community. If the coach favors the uber-athletes and ignores the people who struggle, then the box will be skewed towards a collection of high level athletes. If the coach favors the people who simply do as they say, don’t ask questions, or, worse yet, simply kiss their ass, then the box will be clique-ish and segmented. If you happen to drop in for a workout, does the coach immediately seek you out? Do they introduce you to others? Do others in the class interact with you? Are they only interested in your numbers, or do they care about why you’re there, where you came from, and what you want to do? These are good signs that the community is well rounded.
Power Clean and Split Jerk
1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Complete 3 Rounds with a Partner:
2 Minutes: Alternating Clean and Jerks
1 Minute Partner 1: Manual Resisted ABduction/ADduction/ButterFlies
1 Minute Partner 2: Manual Resisted ABduction/ADduction/ButterFlies
*One bar per group, alternate every other Clean and Jerk
*Round 1 is MR ABduction, Round 2 is MR ADduction, and 3 is MR Butterflies
Post loads, C&J’s completed and thoughts to comments.