Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coaching is not over once the music gets turned up!

Oh sure we cheer our Crossfitters on. We push them with vocal motivation..but are we cheerleaders or are we coaches? The music is up, the sweat is on. You can feel the energy flowing through the room everyone is giving 110%.

How are people moving? Do you see through the excitement what's happening to our members? Where are there hips, their heels? Have they picked a weight they can't handle? Have I in this party of CrossFit output lost sight of my true focus, efficient and effective movements that are also functional? Do I have what it takes to put the breaks on some members and say hey man you need to drop weight or we need to fix up your movement on this before you continue? Or do I let it roll and deal with it later? Later after the member is sore, after they have just taught their body how to move incorrectly? Are they paying for a cheerleader only or a coach and a cheerleader?


Matt said...

Good question Jen, I like to think I am there as a coach, but with some clients it can be a struggle. They want a cheerleader and be allowed to continue with bad form and too heavier weight. This is especially true if they are used to the personal trainer type of treatment. If all the coaches at a gym are consistent on Form before Intensity then this can become a non issue.

Donna said...

Funny you bring this up Jen, just the other day while correcting someone's back squat form...i got the look. that sad face, "you're not telling me what i want to hear" look. I asked if they wanted a coach or a cheerleader, I am qualified for both, I then explained I was a former Catholic High School cheerleader and I could do that. Or...I could coach form and get them stronger. Luckily I didn't have to break into a "B E - A G G R E S S I V E" cheer!

I am a coach, I am there to get you strong and keep you safe. you're welcome.

Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit said...

Yeah Girl! I can't stop smiling at the thought of you as a Catholic High school know what they say about Catholic Girls?!?!!??!

Donna said...

Yes, I do, and it's all true. The more I was told not to, the more I wanted to! LOL. you want me now don't you? fyi, as I told Matt when he found, I don't still have the uniform.

Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit said...

Damn it!

Somebody said...

As a former Catholic schoolgirl, I'm not going to touch this subject, other than to say I wasn't a cheerleader, but a basketball player and we had girls like Donna to cheer for us. Thanks, Donna! (All girls academy.)

Anyhow, good topic. Now, how about this one for a client: End of WOD, HORRIBLE breakdown of form on the rower, I give cues to bring him back into line and he says, "I know! I'm just so fucking tired!"

I just walked away. You can't help somebody who won't listen. But I suppose I should have done something else.

I'm not sure why people pay me money if they don't want to listen to my coaching?

Donna said...

I have clients like that too, I tend to address it after the wod if they can finish safely. Then review technique. I had to video a woman last week, she didn't believe her form was so bad. she was back squating and asking for more weight (15# bar). I said no, your form needs alot of work. she was folding up..boobs on her knees, elbows hitting her hips..awful. so i taped it and showed her...this is why 'elements' are so important. too bad the box i coach at dosen't think so...

I wouldn't give up...but if they can't get hurt, wait til they cool off and then have a chat. If they can get hurt, that's when you get in their face.

Keanne said...

I think the best coaches do both. More importantly, good coaches know when coaching is needed versus encouragement.

Last week (1/19/09), during that slamball-medball clean-thruster hellfest, you got in my face when I really just wanted to put the weights down. I wrote in my training log - 'Jen really pushed me to "make your brain rule your body". Took fewer breaks because of her.' I needed a push. It wasn't about form, but I finished the WOD better because of the "cheerleading."

On the flip side, I also really value critiques to my form. If an athlete isn't coachable and doesn't want to improve their form, it's their loss.

Melissa Byers said...

Great post, Jen.

As a trainee, I want a COACH. Don't tell me what I want to hear, tell me what I NEED to hear to get me through this workout with the fastest time and the most virtuosity. I give you my full permission as my Coach not to compromise, back down or let things go - no matter how much I may protest during the workout. So don't take it personally if I curse you up and down for it, because after I'm done, we'll be best friends again.

Donna, you should give serious consideration to contacting your former high school and ordering another one of those outfits. I'm just sayin'.

Matt said...

Melissa, how did you know my birthday was coming up? Donna certainly got to coach tonight, just a pity some people don't appreciate it.

Veronica Corningstone said...

Hey Jen, Alison here. I'm definitely with Keanne and Melissa in the "I want a coach first" camp. One of the biggest things that got me into Crossfit is the presence of pros who are there to keep my form on track. If I can tweak things, I always want to know!

The cheerleader part also comes into play in the brutal metcons. Getting that extra "Move it!" from one of you has helped me perform at a level beyond what I thought was possible. That rocks.

Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit said...

Melissa, Alison and Keanne,

Yeah I hear what all of you are saying. Keanne has experienced frist hand how I coach. I try to encourage with cues.

It all comes back to balance. I enoy meeting and coaching with different coaches and being coached by them myself.
Thanks for your comments.

I wish I had a birthday that someone could put a skirt on for!

Neda said...

Jen, I actually appreciate how annoying you are every day at the box correcting my form and I can speak for Sean and say that he does as well. I also appreciate your cheerleading efforts but sometimes I want to kill you when you get in my face. :)

Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit said...

hahah! Love you to!