by Coach Dori
It can be hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes. For me this was the hardest thing about coaching, and the one aspect that scared me.
Before I took my Level 1, people would always ask to workout with me; they wanted to do what I did, so I would always invite them to try it. It always ended badly, because I was not a coach, yet. I was an athlete looking to get a workout and not spend the hour teaching.
I would meet friends at the gym, tell them everything we were doing and that was it. If the workout had advanced things in it, I would show them it and then say “Let’s go.” Because thats all it took for me to learn things.
I showed up to my first CrossFit workout never doing cleans before. All I needed was to watch someone and boom I got it. I watched people handstand walk one day and a week later I could walk farther than them. Luckily, I learned to put myself in other people’s shoes through education and experience.
Through taking CrossFit courses such as the Level 1, the Adaptive Athlete Seminar, and the hundreds of hours I have coached, I have learned a lot about teaching different types of athletes. To be a great coach, you must separate the athlete inside of you from the coach inside of you. You must realize that not every person that comes into the gym is the type of athlete who can pick things up fast. You must be able to adapt, and show people how to get to a desired outcome with tiny incremental steps that encourage them and allow them to develop as an athlete.
Luckily, we have different progressions for all of our movements, so no matter what your level of ability, you can do the same workout as someone next to you. You might be using a different weight, but you’re both feeling the same thing that will make you better over time.