As coaches, it’s sometimes hard to draw the line between friend, therapist and CrossFit coach. While our main goal is to improve your fitness, coaches have a responsibility to influence and affect mental change, and it has nothing to do with listening to you gripe about your job.
1. It starts with the warm-up.
This is your first opportunity to switch your mindset from your workday, bills or kids to YOU. It’s probably the first time you get to turn on the brain/body connection all day. I love a good warm-up that makes you think — not only does it feel good to get back in touch with the body, but now you’re also focusing on the present.
2. Skill work is lifework.
When a student is working on a clean-and-jerk in the skill portion of class, he or she is learning patience. A clean-and-jerk will never be perfect. There is always more to lift, and there is always more technique to perfect. A coach should continue to critique students and push them to understand movement mechanics, philosophy and their own weaknesses or errors. This emphasizes the process rather than the product. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it’s frustrating. If it’s not, you (or your coach) are doing something wrong.
3. Fear of Failure.
Most of the time, apprehension to do a WOD or a reluctance to push hard during a WOD is actually a fear of failure. WODs teach us to be bold enough to compete with ourselves, to find a mindset that is slightly scary and out of the ordinary. It is the coach’s responsibility to teach that mindset in addition to lifts and skills. You didn’t simply come to the gym to get fit. You came to change your life and improve your entire self. Not allowing this to happen is a disservice to you, and coaches who refuse to recognize and teach this are doing a disservice to their students.
Allison Truscheit is the owner of CrossFit Synapse in North Hollywood, California. She is also a two-time Southern California Regional competitor, who placed seventh in 2013, a nationally ranked competitor for USA Weightlifting, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, a USAW Sports Performance coach and a YogaWorks 200-hour yoga teacher.