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How to Make Faster Progress in CrossFit by Becoming More “Coachable”

As a coach, this can be a big issue with some athletes, especially those who have done an L1, have some sort of background in sport science or done an old school Personal Trainer Course.

Now, don’t get me wrong, challenging your coach is cool, if the intent is to deepen your own understanding, or if you’re curious as to the thinking behind those dreaded assault bike intervals! Also, it’s ONLY cool IF you’re willing to listen to their answer, when it comes from a reasoned and well educated background…

Crossfit Coaches: Jami Tikkanen
Crossfit Coaches: Jami Tikkanen with Annie Thorisdottir

So here are some things we can all do as athletes,that will help us get better!

Be Honest!

If you didn’t make the time cap, record that you didn’t make the time cap. If you can’t do muscle ups, say you can’t do them. By being honest with yourself, and with your coach, you will get the most out of your programme and out of the class.

Trust the Process

Just because you like lifting, and don’t like doing those gymnastic progressions, doesn’t mean you do more lifting and less gymnastics, and then wonder why you still haven’t got those elusive handstand walks. One of the biggest challenges I have as a coach, is people stating that X, Y and Z have said that by doing “this” I’ll get better at “that”

There is more than one way to reach a goal, yes but there is also a whole heap of old school, misinformed propaganda out there that won’t make you any better. There are probably at least 5 different studies, that prove or disprove every single training methodology out there, at the end of the day, it’s our job as coaches to help you get better and design the correct programme. So trust to help you on your journey. If you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the process, we will make it work.

Chris Hinshaw and Katrin Davidsdottir running workoutsSource: Chris Hinshaw
Chris is the endurance Coach of both the male and female winners of the 2016 CrossFit Games

If we don’t, then move on…but you can only really judge the success of a programme if you have followed it, in it’s entirety, for a period of time.

Control the Controllable

Sleep well, eat well, train hard, rest when needed. Repeat. A lot of your progress will be down to doing the really basic, simple things, brilliantly.

You can’t control what your workout buddy is doing, or what the lad that your chasing in the open is doing. Turn that gaze inward, focus on your training, your body, your fuel, and YOU will have the success that you are after.

Scale appropriately

If Coach says it should be a 6 min workout, where you should be able to complete at least 5 reps unbroken, don’t take 15 mins doing 100kg clean and jerk singles at RX, because it feels “awesome, bro”

Coaching movement in crossfit
John coaching BK Gudmundsson

Chances are you’ve missed the aim of the workout, fried your Central Nervous System, and won’t now be able to hit the required numbers for the following two days strength work!

There is nothing wrong with scaling, there’s a plan in place.

Have fun, be on time, be ready to learn and ask questions

Finally, and possibly most importantly. Have fun, turn up, and be ready to learn!

Phrases like, I’ve always done it this way, Mat Fraser does it like this, Tia Toomey said….shows a fixed mindset, and some level of delirium! Try what the coach asks,   and always, always, ask questions…please don’t suffer in silence, no matter how trivial, chances are at least 1 other class goer wants to know the answer to the question you’re about to ask, so ask away…

Your coach should relish the opportunity to help you, and answer your questions, CrossFIt (and any sport) should be a learning experience, and should be fun!

Your coach is there to help not hinder, so make sure you let them do just that!

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