How many men and women do you know entering their 11th year of coaching CrossFit? I observe many professional coaches chugging along, improving their craft and solidifying a gym member base, a client base and/or a reputation that will make them money in the future. If, however, there is no plan to evolve the craft, many of us may find ourselves starting class and wonder, “What am I doing?” or “How did I get here?”
Think back to the question above. How many of these tenured coaches are just that: coaches? Few, I’d argue, if any. Sure, in some cases, there’s a natural hierarchical-based view of leadership that happens, in which these people are able to delegate their tasks to younger developing coaches and/or they own the gym, but I’m less concerned with that. I’m most concerned about the unaware coach, who’s playing Follow the Leader and mindlessly teaching CrossFit classes with no real awareness to where this is headed.
I want to be clear. I’m not saying this as a warning that the pursuit of coaching is short-lived or unremarkable and, as a result, ought to be discouraged. Quite the opposite, in fact, because I, too, am living this evolution. I feel aware, however, that in order to evolve as a coach, I need to move the needle on what that means.
What it means to me is less important than the awareness you should be aware of when communicating with your craft.
The good news is that you don’t need to look far for inspiration. Revisit the basics, see where else they apply and see whether you can break the “rules.” I firmly believe that the pursuit of learning and teaching movement is a fully sustainable, endless pursuit, but we ought to turn on our awareness along the way or we may end up at the end of a long desert road wondering how we got there without a clue as to how to get back to what makes us great.