So I was privileged enough to watch the vast majority of our coaches competing in various levels at Wodapalooza this past weekend in Miami. Another one of our coaches was there with her phone so we could all watch through Facebook Live (about the best use of FB Live, IMHO) and finally, the coach of their second box subbed during our 5am sessions. So the entire coaching community came together to make this all happen. This got me thinking about all the things I love about our particular box and I would bet that those of you who love your boxes have these same things happening!
I love that each coach knows the athletes and pushes in their own different way. Coach Janine is the “toughest” of them all in the sense of pushing us well beyond what we might do for ourselves. She knows exactly how much each of us can lift. Not that I’m a double under master (I have managed 19 in a row – sign me up for an Rx competition…), but I wouldn’t have them at all if not for her. I was quite content doing one double and one single, but not on Janine’s watch! She said give it a go and so I had to. And I did it!
Coach JP is so calm and steadfast in his ability to impart his confidence into the athletes. He will spot you if you need it, suggest weights if you ask, and even in the middle of a WOD come over and stop you to make suggestions on how you can improve your form, your time, your technique, your whatever. There will be no bad form on his watch and he’s so calm, cool and collected that you simply believe that you can do anything! Plus, if you ask a geeky question on their FB page, he will happily give you a geeky answer!
Coach Sam isn’t around as often; she does a lot of the personal training and the marketing for both boxes and I’m sure that keeps her very busy. When she does come in to coach, she’s very vocal about your abilities, the fact that a lot of these moves simply don’t come naturally and they take time and practice. She has the loudest voice during the WODs and will cheer you on until she’s hoarse. She’s the biggest cheerleader there and she’s always ready with a celebratory hug, sticker and photo-op!
Coach Christy is fairly new and I’ve not had the chance to work with her as often as the others, since she generally coaches the later morning classes. BUT, I have worked with her enough and have watched her “come up through the ranks” from overweight mom, to fit mom, to Coach Christy (all around bad-a$$) and she is somehow a combination of all three. She will “make” you lift heavier than you want; she drips confidence out of every pore. I swear she is more confident in my abilities than I am! She’s the first to try something challenging and her voice can be heard throughout the WOD, even over the loudest music. She’s quick with the high-fives and the stickers and the phone pics and I’m fairly certain she’s the marketing genius behind many of the things that are happening online with this small box.
Coach Hannah is the newest to me because she generally coaches at their second location. But I’ve had the pleasure of being coached by her a few times now and she’s full of quiet smiles and encouragement. She’s managed to learn a lot of names (impressive since she’s only in our box a few times), walks around pushing us to keep moving through the tough WODs and never seems to stop smiling at everything that happens. Trip over a box? She’s still smiling all through her checking up to make sure you are okay. Struggling to breathe through 100 billion burpees (anything over 5 might as well be a billion)? She’s there, smiling, encouraging and clapping you on. It’s been a real treat to have her there the past few days!
I love how I started 2.5+ years ago simply wanting to do something different with my workouts (my home workouts were becoming stale) and found a community of folks, many of whom have become dear friends and we do things outside the box now! I actually have friends in this town (I did have friends before, but they all moved out of the town, so I spent a couple of very lonely years here)!
I love the Diaper WODs, fund-raisers and other community events they sponsor. I love how no matter who finishes last, there is always a group of folks willing to stick around to cheer, encourage and even help by doing extra work.
I love how the coaches live crossfit by making sure we are all safe, scaled as necessary, provide Rx+ options for those that need more, can make the moves harder or scaled and not only coach, but are incredible athletes in their own right. I believe that JP placed 4th in the Rx Men’s, Team DCF was 3rd in the Intermediate Team Women’s and Janine and her team, Beefy Butt Stuff, was 18th in the Elite Team Women’s divisions at Wodapalooza. Do you know who competes at these things? Games athletes, that’s who. So my bad-a$$ coaches are competing with the best of the best.
I’ve said it before and I will continue to believe this. The best athletes don’t always make the best coaches. To coach and to coach well, you have to get to know people. Learn their fears, their skills, their weaknesses and their strengths. You have to learn if they are there simply to get a good workout in, are there to really try to get better, or are there to become great athletes themselves. You have to learn not only how to teach the moves, but to teach them differently to different people when necessary, to say the same thing a zillion different ways. You need the ability to calm frustrations, celebrate achievements and gently coax people out of their comfort zones. Interestingly enough, our coaches are all not only fantastic athletes, but amazing coaches. I couldn’t have asked for more in a crossfit box.