The 10 Things I Learned From Coaching CrossFit®

This is a bittersweet day for me.

Today, I’m giving up my CrossFit coaching certifications. 10 years ago, I tried my first CrossFit class. 5 years ago, I started coaching. And 6 months ago, I “retired” from coaching CrossFit.

Being a CF coach has been such a wonderful experience for me. I’ve learned so much and made so many friends. I started coaching right after finishing my doctorate, at a time when I was burned out, in pain, and about ready to give up on music. Coaching gave me direction and ignited my passion for serving others.

When I started, I wanted to coach anyone and everyone who walked in the door. My focus now lies more in helping people overcome chronic repetitive stress pain, and in particular musicians in pain. CF ideologies can be great for those people EVENTUALLY, after focused attention to other lifestyle, mindset, and movement pattern issues.

So, now the moment has come to give up my CrossFit pieces of paper.

Thank you @CrossFit for everything you’ve taught me and all the opportunities you’ve afforded me. I will still remain a champion for you because you gave me so much. Thank you to the gyms and owners who gave me the space to learn and grow. And I will still be completely useless the week of the CF Games cause that shit is fun to watch.

It’s hard to say goodbye 1) because I’ve had so many positive experiences, but 2) giving up on something goes against all my high-achieving tendencies. So I’ve taken some time today to reflect back on my CF journey and what I’ve learned along the way. I hope you enjoy my top 10 lessons I learned from my time coaching CrossFit.

1. There’s more than one way to communicate movement.

If one way doesn’t work between you and your client, then it’s your job as a coach to find another that does.

2. Make the movement meet the client

Slow and steady progressions are the way to really move a client forward to meet their goals. It ain’t sexy, but it works.

3. Your clients know themselves better than you do.

Don’t push clients past their point of comfort. Their comfort zone will expand if it is respected.

4. Consistency is always a better indicator of progress than soreness.

Expanding comfort zones are the goal. A taxed nervous system and body does not learn and does not improve.

5. Step back, shut up, and watch.

You absolutely have to make sure clients are moving safely. And once they are, you can step aside, watch observantly, and let them learn on their own.

6. Asking clients questions is often more insightful than giving them instructions.

“How do you feel today?” “how did that weight feel?” “What do you think went well?” “What’s your goal today?”

7. Don’t argue with clients about allowing them to modify a movement.

If they want to, just let them do it (as long as it’s safe).

8. Don’t let your own pride get wrapped up in your client’s progress.

There’s a difference between wanting to see your client do well and thinking that their performance reflects on you.

9. Don’t talk about clients to other clients.

This should be common sense. Unfortunately, it’s not. There is NO faster way to erode trust within your community.

10. Don’t drop an unloaded bar!

#dontdoit #justsayno #sorrynotsorry

And I have to remember that goodbye is not gone forever. I may be back someday.

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