I’ve got to take a moment and do this for all the coaches out there. If you’re a coach, you can read this and feel like you aren’t alone. Maybe you can let off some steam, even. If you’re an athlete, you can read this and raise your awareness as to whether you have some of these “least favorite” tendencies and habits.
As a coach, my least favorite athlete is the one who wins the workout. And, let me be clear. It’s not the student who wins because he or she is the most fit. It’s the guy or girl who wins because that’s what he/she came to do that day. This student doesn’t even have learning or skill development on the radar that day. Class, rather, is always a test of his or her abilities and, therefore, rarely a place for introspection, evaluation or adjustments.
My least favorite athlete has a big engine but is a below-average mover. His performance will never be bad enough to really motivate him to seek learning as much as seeking winning workouts.
My least favorite athlete is the one with an athletic background. She is the one who is strong enough to not want to learn. She is the one who is trying to get back to where she once was with what she already knows, rather than the one who is excited about what unknown level of fitness is possible with all the skills she can learn.
My least favorite student cheers for other classmates because that’s what you do, rather than because he really wants his classmates to “Stay with it!” or because they’re “Almost there!” There’s a certain genuine, authentic nature about students who are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in class. Everything is honest and real. For my least favorite athlete, he/she will attach meaning to everything. Things like this come out of their mouths: “David did Rx, and David is good at overhead, and I could beat him on the running, so therefore I should get sub 13 minutes.”
As a coach, I just had to get this stuff off my chest. You know, we’ve got a beautiful thing here, this CrossFit experience. And though there will always be childish elements to anything involving seemingly grown men and women (odd), if we raise our awareness, we can become something more, not just for ourselves but for those around us.
What kind of student are you?