The Coach’s Companion

As the functional fitness scene grows, more and more fitness professionals are adopting the title of “Coach.” But what does it really mean to embrace this lofty moniker? How does this person earn your respect, as you trust them with your time, energy and enthusiasm?

Kyle J Smith, alumni-Coach at CrossFit NYC and Coach at CrossFit Memorial Hill in Kansas City, MO, shares his story and wisdom gained from years standing by the whiteboard and working tirelessly to help his athletes become better versions of themselves.

This book is a great read for wannabe coaches, current coaches, and anyone interested in learning more about the art, craft and business of helping others. THE BOOK

HOW DO I BECOME A COACH?

Learn the hiring procedures of the boxes in your area and get yourself in the queue. Also, create coaching opportunities all your own: workouts with friends in the park, group training with your co-workers, whatever you can do to start gaining experience. THE BOOK

WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A FREE INTRO CLASS?

The athletes are there to see your box — make sure it looks great. They are there to meet you — be as engaging and helpful as possible. And they are there to get a taste of a workout — make it fun, hard, and leave them wanting more. THE BOOK

HOW DO I DEVELOP A “COACH’S EYE” FOR MOVEMENT?

Learn why a movement looks the way it looks. Investigate what causes dysfunctional movement. Watch a ton of people move and be critical, what could they do to move more efficiently? And listen to how experienced coaches assess and correct movement. THE BOOK

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO SCALE DIFFICULT MOVEMENTS FOR NEWBIES?

You can scale based off of the component parts of an exercise or the intent of a workout. Choose a scaling option that allows the athlete to move well for the entire workout. And know your base scaling options before the workout starts, don’t try to make them up on the fly. THE BOOK

ANY TIPS FOR TEACHING TRICKY MOVEMENTS LIKE DOUBLE UNDERS?

Develop systems for introducing new movements to your athletes, start with the most simple actions and build upon what they are able to do successfully. If an athlete can’t do single unders fluidly, don’t jump ahead in the system to double unders. If you try a new tactic and it is successful, add it to your repertoire. THE BOOK

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH UNCOOPERATIVE MEMBERS?

Are you and this member playing for the same team? Meaning, do they understand the methods behind your madness and do you have empathy for where they’re coming from? Once you both have all of your cards on the table you can begin to outline a plan for moving forward.  THE BOOK

HOW DO I KEEP MY OWN WORKOUTS A PRIORITY WHEN I’M SO BUSY AT THE BOX?

First, get your priorities straight, is your top priority building a coaching career or your athletic pursuits? Once you have a clear picture of where you’re headed, then you can begin to balance your priorities. Give top shelf time and energy to the things that matter most, and leave yourself time to recover physically, mentally and spiritually. THE BOOK

MY FELLOW COACHES AND I DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE ON EVERYTHING, ANY ADVICE?

You will never see eye to eye on everything, don’t even try to make that your goal. Instead, focus on having healthy, productive conversations and always be graceful and forgiving with one another. You all have the same goal in mind, helping to make your athletes better versions of themselves. Choose to play well with others and have a good time in the process. THE BOOK

SHOULD I SEEK OUT PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENTS ALONGSIDE MY COACHING HOURS?

Be very honest with yourself, is the environment of your box conducive to your athletes spending more money for personal training on a regular basis, or can you seek out clients from outside of the membership base? If personal training isn’t in the cards for you, think of other inventive ways to leverage your brand. THE BOOK

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

There are a million. As you do your research online make your decision based on the popularity of the resource, other peoples’ experiences with it, and the credibility of the source. Keep your mind open to unorthodox learning like business or acting classes. But don’t waste your time on resources that don’t carry over well into your day-to-day coaching. THE BOOK

CAN COACHING BE A CAREER?

To coach for the long haul you have to be an entrepreneur. Create systems that make your job sustainable and enjoyable. Hustle for business and learn how to work with people effectively. And have long term goals for where/how you’d like to live down the road, then figure out how to make your dream a reality, one decision at a time. THE BOOK

 

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