A Coach and their training plan:
1. A Coach will give you structure, systematic planning and long term goals
A Coach’s work is not based on their daily inspiration, it’s a process with long term goals that are clearly defined. You set a goal together and then later dig deep into macro-, meso- and microcycles. It’s about setting up periodization for your progress, and giving clear purpose to your efforts, and structure to your training.
2. A Coach’s focus is on optimizing your performance: Not simply helping you compete with your peers.
Competition can be fun and constructive, but while you’re focused on proving to others that you are better than they are, your coach is focused on you: On making you a better Athlete, and your performances much stronger. Their goal is not to aid you to compete with your peers, like your ego likes to do, but simply optimize your training output and competition performance.
3. Because someone needs to fix your positions, technique and movement in general.
Crossfit involves skill work that needs to be learnt well and developed gradually. For most people, learning Olympic weightlifting drills completely alone is practically impossible. You need a coach who balances out your positions, fixes you barbell path, moves your hips lower, says all over again ‘you’re bumping too much’ and explain why your snatch lacks lots of shoulder and ankle mobility work, and not just strength for example. You need a good, studious observer of your movement, and someone who knows how to offer solutions to the problems they identify.
4. You can focus on doing the work.
A Coach takes away the planning and thinking part: ‘So what should I do today.’ They deliver a plan and the planning story ends there. This is on the whiteboard today, this is what you’re going to do so get to it. There are no decisions to make about which workouts would feel nice today, simply just the execution of them. It’s less stressful, less time consuming and – here we go – safer.
5. Injury prevention: Coach can stop you long before you stop yourself.
I heard this remark so many times when I first started training ‘What was that?’ Especially when I thought I just did a nice, controlled Snatch. In reality, from an outsider’s perspective, it was much less perfect than I imagined.
The point is, how do you know what you’re actually doing, and how is this affecting your body, if you can’t watch your own movements? Even if you film your own movements and analyse them later, this is not the same as having a coach watch you, because the opinions still come from you, from your perspective. Your coach can easily identify areas that might lead to injury, whereas we may have the tendency to brush over them in our search for new PRs.
6. You’ll get an honest opinion, not driven by your own emotions.
Your Coach won’t say it’s ok when it’s not. But they also won’t say you’re a failure, that you’re not good enough and ‘you should quit’. Instead, great coaches will acknowledge your strengths first, but also present your weaknesses as something you must work on. They will show you how to make you stronger overall in the future.
7. You will celebrate your PRs together.
Setting goals together also means celebrating the resulting achievements together. It’s exceptionally motivating, because you know that someone else is also acknowledging your progress, and is extremely happy about it. Believe me, your coach is as or even more happy than you are, when the mission you set together is officially accomplished.