I have interacted with quite a few awesome Coaches during my CrossFit Career. I have fallen prey to some of the following myths, just like some of you may have. So I’m going to try and clear some of these up.
Myth 1: Coach is the top athlete
A common assumption among the members is that a Coach is the strongest/fastest athlete in the Box. They are expected to crush every workout day in, day out.
Fact: They sometimes suck at some things as much as you do, or worse
A Coach may or may not be the best athlete in the gym, but have proved they are better at teaching movements, having a sharp eye for catching mistakes, ensuring safety of the athletes and being a leader in the class.
Myth 2: Coach has been CrossFitting Longer than Everyone
This assumption is generally derived like the first one. People assume that a coach will always be the person who has been CrossFitting the longest. I understand the O.G. status provides a little bit of street cred, but….
Fact: It’s just a number (well, almost)
Though I believe that the ability to run a successful class comes from education, experience and shadowing a Great Head Coach. It does not necessarily mean that one must be doing so since the dawn of CrossFit. An average member spends an hour in the gym. But someone who is aspiring to become a coach spends hours honing their teaching, observation, and communication skills. They acquire these skills by shadowing existing coaches; attending training seminars on their days off, and read everything they can get their hands. I would say most spend about 3 hours a day, 4-5 days a week investing in becoming a better coach. So, next time you see someone Coaching at the box, who maybe started at the Box around the same time as you. Ask yourself do I live, eat, and breath Crossfit?
Myth 3: Coach only leads classes.
A Coach simply stands up in front of class, teaches you how to do movements, moves around the class correcting movement patterns, and then writes your time on the whiteboard.
Fact: There is more than meets the eye
You may only see a Coach running the class, but that does not necessarily mean that this is the only thing they do around the Box. They may be helping plan the workouts, training cycles, cleaning the gym, following up if someone does not show up for a week…I can go on and on, but I hope you get the point here. A lot of coaches (at least in our box) have full-time jobs as well. They Coach because they have the passion to help people grow.
Myth 4: Coach is my buddy
Because we are a Family. Sometimes members tend to believe that a Coach is their friend, who may WOD with them then stay after and Coach the following class. Even worse, if they attend that class they tend to take that Coach’s instruction as if it doesn’t apply to them because we are “friends”. Do you see your friend as a Coach or vice-versa?
Fact: Its all Business.
Don’t get me wrong. Everyone enjoys a good laugh and all the fun and games. But a Coach needs to keep business and pleasure separate and in that order. So next time that friend who is your Coach tells you to drop and give them 10 burpees because you dropped the kettlebell from overhead, respect that and do it.
Myth 5: Coach’s all fit one Mold
Some members may have a hard time accepting the fact that the Coach is not always a shredded individual with tattoos, donning the latest Reebok gear and holding a protein shake in one hand and a marker in the other.
Fact: There is no Mold
CrossFit is growing fast in all corners of the globe. This has brought a lot of diversity into the community which is a great thing. Coaches come in many different sizes, shapes, genders, ages, tattooed or not, training backgrounds, and maybe just life experience. You may even think their sense of style is lacking, but it’s their knowledge you should be after right?
The sooner you look past these myths. Listen then Do what your coach is telling you, in that order. The faster you will start progressing as an athlete.
– Coach Troy
Thanks, BreakingMuscle.com for the image.