How to Use Your CrossFit Coach

I love being a CrossFit coach.  There’s nothing quite like watching the light bulb turn on.  Well, that’s just a saying but what I’m talking about is the moment an athlete finally figures it out.  

Whether it’s the athlete’s first double under, finally turning over in a muscle up or hitting a squat clean perfectly, being part of that first success is an adrenaline rush.

And how about when an athlete finally hits the RX button for the very first time?  Incredible.  I still remember hitting the blue RX button for the first time and being so pumped!  I felt unstoppable like so many others do when they’ve done the same.

How about an athlete’s mobility?  If you’ve ever done CrossFit before then you know much mobility plays a part in your overall fitness level.  If you don’t have the mobility to perform certain movements from an air squat to pressing the barbell overhead then you’re going to have a hard time doing CrossFit.

I remember a few months ago coaching a girl in a beginning Foundations class and she could only bend a fourth of the way into an air squat.  Her hip mobility was…..well, she had no hip mobility.  

Knowing this as a coach, it was important that I scaled her movement pattern so she could perform at her best and still get a great workout in throughout the process.

Fast forward a couple months and I see her performing an air squat in a WOD.  It was the most beautiful air squat I had ever seen.  Why?  Because I saw first-hand the struggle she endured in her first class.  I knew how much work she put in to get better physically.

This is what CrossFit is all about.  So to you newcomers out there, listen up.  We all have to start from somewhere whether it’s bad hip mobility, shoulder mobility or even bad breath.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It’s fixable, however, we can’t do anything about your breath.[/perfectpullquote]

So what do we take away from this as athletes whether first starting out or as a seasoned vet?  Below are 4 ways you can take advantage of your CrossFit coach and become a better athlete.

i assure you that you’ll be proud of yourself and you’ll have a coach who is your #1 fan!

4 Ways to Use Your CrossFit Coach

1)  Ask questions.  If you don’t know, ask.  By asking questions when you’re confused or just needing clarification it helps coaches tremendously.  Whether you’re uncertain how to perform a movement or don’t know how to scale, asking questions will help address your needs.

Why don’t athletes ask more questions?  Think back to when you were in elementary school.  Why didn’t you want to ask questions then?  Was it the fear of looking stupid?  Didn’t your teacher tell you there is no such thing as a dumb question?

Trust me when I say this.  Nobody’s sweating whether you have a dumb question or not.  They’re more worried about their dumb questions.

2)  Listen.  I’m as guilty as anyone on this but too many times we’re in response mode when we’re listening to others.  We’re focused more on what we are going to say rather than what someone is telling us.  This isn’t good,especially when receiving instruction from your coach.  You can’t make the corrections you need to make if you’re too busy thinking of your response instead of honing in on the action.

3)  Learn.  Falls right in line with listening.  Each CrossFit class is a great opportunity for you to get better each and every day.  Not only by improving your WOD time and strength numbers but learning a new skill or learning a new progression.  

Classes are normally when the light bulb goes off as well.  You pick up on something the Coach is telling someone else and apply it to what you’re doing.  And then, BOOM!  That’s all you need to get you going.

For instance, I was struggling to hit my first butterfly pull-up.  I just couldn’t figure out the movement pattern.  Add that to my lack of gracefulness and butterfly pull-ups weren’t for me.

That was until I had a coach tell me to pretend I am peddling a bicycle backwards,  This little tip was all I needed and it made my pull-ups so much better.

If you don’t know what a butterfly pull-up is or how to pull it off then you have to check out this awesome progression video.take action

4)  Take action.  It’s very difficult to progress in CrossFit if you don’t practice your technique.  Get to class early, take advantage of open gym on Sundays and dial in on what you need to do to become a better athlete.  

Set goals.  Work with your coach and set some short and long-term goals.  Your coach is here to help you.  Take advantage of him.

Need some one-on-one time.  Schedule a 30-minute session with a CFJ coach to work on your progressions.  You’ll be able to focus solely on a specific movement and get an assessment of where you are.  He’ll take some videos and slow the movement down for you.  Once your session is complete you’ll then receive some homework to get you to the next step faster.

Until next time…Stay Jacked, Stay Strong!

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