3 Reasons Why Coaches need to Listen up

June 17, 2016

Photocredit: Coach Issac

The one thing you learn immediately when you become an athlete;  The coach is always right. Right? 

Not always. 

Just because you have your L1-CF doesn't make you "The Best Crossfit Coach" Nope. I've been in this industry long enough to have seen it all. 


Here's what I've noticed;  Coaches, LISTEN UP!  
1. Coaches need to listen to other Coaches

This is key. And to make it easy, start where you are! It truly helps to take classes at your gym taught by other Coaches because everyone has different methodology to what they do. You can add certain tools to what you already do and exchange/ discuss their coaching with them. Or if you see the potential were they can do better then offering constructive criticism is very helpful.  

NOTE* (Don't get your feelings hurt) 

If you have already done this and still want to learn more then visit other gyms that may be in the area or even when you are traveling to a new city/country; make it a point to drop in! You'll learn more than you could ever imagine, being open minded in a sport that is forever evolving will make you stand out! 

2. Attitude

You might be thinking what the heck does this have do with anything??

Well, surprising a lot more than you think. Sometimes you don't even have to say a word and members just know how you feel because you might stand offish due to a bad overwhelming day well guess what? It's not their fault so don't take it out on them if they (members) are trying to have a good time at the gym. I get that most gyms can't leave their personal life out because sometimes it literally is their life but not everyone needs to know that you have a million things to do and you can't find the time to do it.

On the flip side- as a Coach you can go in and do your job then leave without making any "real" relationship if you are this type of Coach; you need to check yourself! Relationship building will make you a coach above every other coach. A coach needs to listen to their athletes in many ways besides exercise-related form. Being able to notice that something is affecting them and talk to them about it helps keep personal or physical issues in check. Obviously, not everyday is the best day for everyone and each person is different. They might not want to talk about it so handle with caution. There are always ways to improve their day. An example is to just simply complement their form and comment on how it is a pleasure to have them in class on a daily basis.

3. Knowledge

We are normal human beings and we just might not have the answer to all the questions asked so don't act like you know what you are talking about because you're the Coach! It's okay to admit that you don't know the answer and that you'll have to get back to them or that you might actually have to ask someone else. 

The following is required of all Coaches is to know how to handle all situations whether it is understanding membership options, retail operations, or if there is 20+ members that show up to your class because they forgot to sign up...(its happens)

  • Understand the basic, intermediate, advanced movements of each exercise (form).
  • Scaling Options- Get Creative, Be Smart and Safe.
  • When working in a big group setting make sure you work with each individual for about a minute at a time, if the client needs more than that then further coaching will be needed. Provide them with with a few cues and to work on those. If personal training is needed, then offer it.

Last but not least; TALK LOUD! An athlete needs to listen to their coach for safety and for educational purposes. If an athlete can’t hear what the coach is saying then you need to repeat yourself not once, twice but the third time works like a charm!

At the end of the day when I coach my athletes, providing cues that will provide step-by-step skills to work towards a movement and developing self-confidence. It is my goal to develop relationships with all of my athletes so that they believe in themselves so they can achieve greatness in and outside of the gym. With relationship set, the sky's the limit with what they will learn. If you don't want to take my advice...

Here is CrossFit Founder – Greg Glassman talking about how to be an effective coach.

This is a guest post from Aaron Varcasio. Aaron is now a Manager and Coach at FIT Thornton, Owner/Coach at Varcasio Fitness and Smooth Rowing. He holds the follow certifications: CrossFit: Level 1, Level 2, Movement and Mobility, Rowing NASM: CPT, CES, PES, BCS, Youth Client USAW: Level 1 Sports Performance NESTA: Nutrition Coach. To get to know Aaron more you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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