How to become more coachable 101.
Coaching is what we do, its what we love. There is nothing more rewarding for us as coaches than seeing you progress, improve and master new skills, get new PB’s, compete in competitions and grow to love the sport of CrossFit. We want to pass on as much knowledge, advice, tips and attention as possible to you every session. This gets tricky for both the coaches and the athletes when distractions pop up (time limits, the next class starting, dynamics of the class, different learning abilities etc ) so we have come up with a list of ways to help you get the most out of every time you train with us. Having the tools and skills to become more coachable will help you as an athlete and makes us more accountable in helping you succeed.
Being coachable is a skill just like every other skill you learn. Have you ever wondered why some people in class seem to get so much more out of training than you? Wondered why they seem to be picking up the movements a lot faster and always seem to know exactly what is happening next? Or wondered why someone who started classes months later than you seems to be progressing faster than you? Or maybe you’ve got the feeling that the coach is speaking in Latin to you when you really only understand Chinese? You’re probably not alone! Here are some tips on getting the most out of your coaches and how to become more coachable. Once you master these simple skills, you will find it easier to optimise your time spent with your coaches and this will lead to more results in a shorter time frame.
Tips on how to become more Coachable.
1. Listen to the briefing at the start of the class! Going through the class structure takes valuable time and when the coach has to repeat themselves several times because someone wasn’t listening, its frustrating for us and to the athletes who are paying attention the first time. It also eats into the class coaching time. There is nothing worse as a coach than to be standing there, explaining what we expect to happen over the next hour and have some of the athletes talking over you and ignoring everything you are saying, only to then ask you 5 minutes later what they were meant to be doing. So get in close, make sure you can hear, read the board, listen to the coaches instructions and don’t keep talking over the top to finish your conversations, giggling about the boy you saw earlier in the day or talking about the new puppy you brought (unless of course you are bringing the puppy to training….then we ALL get to have a cuddle, those are also the rules) and get on track with what you are meant to be doing this session.
2. Get to class ten minutes early. This way you can start getting your mind set ready to train. You can work out the weights you are going to be lifting during the strength session. You can watch the WOD from the class before and see the progressions they are using. You can start gauging how long you think it will take you to complete the WOD. You can start doing your pre warm up so you are ready to go and already in training mode when the coach calls you over to start class. Now don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing better than a bit of gossip during class. But there is no point in coming in early and just sitting in the chairs, gossiping and not paying attention to the class before hand, not mentally preparing for the challenge of the WOD ahead and NOT DOING YOUR MOBILITY!
3. Talk to your coaches! We are not mind readers, we need you to let us know if you don’t understand something. If you have an injury, if your cat is sick so you aren’t in the right head space, if you just don’t understand what we mean when we tell you ” toes forward” – you need to actually verbalise this to us. While we will try a million different ways to help you understand a concept, we do need your feedback on what is working for you and what you don’t understand. If you don’t know why we have asked you to do something or we haven’t explained our rational in a way you understand, let us know! We all need to be on the same page with your training so you get the best results possible. We also need to know what you are expecting to get out of your training. Tell us your goals, your expectations, what you are movement you are scared of doing and what you want to work on more. We can only help you get what you want if you tell us what it is! Otherwise we are all in the dark.
4. Write down the Cues we give you so you don’t forget them! Almost all of you are on Beyond the Whiteboard now. Use it to it’s full potential. There is a notes section where you can write your cues and advice down. When you enter in how much you back squatted, write in the notes “need to make sure I keep toes forward” or “need to keep my chest up” or any of the other cues/advice that the coaches have given you during that session. Don’t just write “wow, that session was hard!”. Writing the the cues and advice you were given will mean when you do the same activity again, you will have an idea what helped you last time! You will improve faster if in the next session you are already working on the cues you were given last time in the very first rep. If the coach doesn’t need to remind you of the same cues EVERY time you train, (back to square one every session) you will progress and be able to move onto the next challenge in that movement.
5. Perfect Practice makes Perfect! You’ve heard us tell you before, don’t hold a shitty position, don’t practice the wrong thing a hundred times or you will just end up being really good at doing the wrong thing. Focus on the cues you have been given, ask questions, get feedback, video yourself if you are doing some training on your own and show us what you did. If we tell you to lower the weight to get perfect form before increasing the weights, listen to the advice. We are telling you this because there are small faults in the movement pattern that we want to help you address BEFORE you injure yourself with a heavy weight. We will give you different cues until the right one works for your movement. If we give you a coaching tip, work with it, don’t ignore it or think “the coach is picking on me” or “it doesn’t feel bad when I lift heavier than this, What do they know?”. We are only ever spending time coaching you to HELP you, If you don’t know why we asked you to do it a certain way, ASK.
Lastly, the coaches are human, despite what we have lead you to believe, we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads or have 360 degree vision to see everyone training at once and watch every rep for every athlete at once. We don’t have the ability to listen to 7 different conversations at once, talk to someone about their form while watching another person complete a lift and remember that so and so had a sore shoulder so needs the WOD regressed or changed and so and so can’t run tonight so will need to row. We need you to say “hey coach, once you’ve finished there, come and look at my lift” don’t just expect that we would have seen it. Ask us to regress your WOD, don’t just assume we know you have an injury because you posted about it on Facebook over the weekend!
Communication between coaches and athletes is a vital component to success. Basically, we want you to show up and commit to the hour of training. Most importantly; listen, learn and TALK to US! Oh, and don’t forget to bring all puppies in for a visit too…..of course older puppies are welcome too as they don’t even pee on the floor!
See you down at the box again soon!