Coaches can often get lulled into playing “follow the leader” when it comes to class planning. Of course, we have the divine programming sent from on high to do in class, but I’d argue there are other elements that you might not first think of that are critical to any quality CrossFit class.
If you’re a coach, these four components should be part of your training experience:
1. Health Inventory.
Five years ago, we changed how we’d start class forever. One of our longest-standing members had a shoulder injury she kept secret. This injury from a past sports injury gave her trouble, but because she never mentioned anything (and we never asked), we moved forward blindly, making no adjustments for her. Things got worse, and she had to take time off. From then on, we vowed to make communicating about the status of your health cool. Start every class with a quick check-in that encourages classmates to verbally share any aches and pains.
Mobility is officially sexy. Thank you, Kelly Starrett. Since many CrossFit students are generally sedentary in their lives outside the gym, using activations to prepare key muscle groups before training can be critical. Glute activations, scapula work and core activations can keep athletes safer and performing better.
3. Context Time.
Remember, every workout is (or should be) programmed with a stimulus in mind. Often, we program the day for the fittest among us. Your ability to create this relative experience across the board of your diverse athlete population is as important as any movement coaching you do. Set the context well so that athletes can choose the right loads, volume and movement styles to meet the intended stimulus for the day.
Don’t have any? Check again. Yes, you do. If we’re naive enough to think that the best expression of your facility is hard workouts, you might want to reconsider. Growing the conversation of what you’re trying to accomplish with your facility beyond the hour you have your students in class is vital to everyone involved — yourself included. Plan events, offer special services, and/or just share tangential information about nutrition and mindset. Give them something.