My first day coaching CrossFit

Great depth, knees out, elbows high. Obviously a very experienced (and flexible) athlete.

I love this stuff. I think I might actually love it more than golf. I am willing to give up some golf time this year in favor of CrossFit. Not just doing CrossFit but coaching it also.

I got my Level 1 certification a few weeks ago and put it to use this morning for the first time. I think it went pretty well. I did the warmup I wanted, worked on some skill work (front squat) and part A and part B of the WOD done in time and had time leftover for some cool down/stretching before the 60 minutes was up. In fact, I think both classes were done in about 55 minutes. There wasn’t any rushing and people left looking spent. Job well done, I think.

I had my first taste of watching others get better today. I mean, I have seen it plenty of times while doing CrossFit, but today was the first time I helped others get better firsthand.

I have seen people get their first pullup and how happy they are. Or when someone is able to get into a handstand against the wall for the first time and actually hold it – elation. I have seen PR’s when doing a variety of lifts and the sense of accomplishment you can see on the athletes face. I haven’t seen many get their first muscle up, but the videos of it I have seen they look amazed, ecstatic and relieved all at the same time (I hope to feel that someday soon).

But today was the first day I have seen people get better, even if only a little bit, by my coaching. Today we did front squats and those of us who have done CrossFit remember the day when we couldn’t keep our elbows up and squat down in a nice mature squat. I remember the weight falling off of the front of me. I remember the sore wrists and forearms from trying to keep the bar in that position. It is not easy. It takes practice. Today I had a wide array of athletes. Some had a fantastic front squat already, some had knees caving in, some leaned too far forward when coming down and some couldn’t get close to parallel while trying to hold their elbows high. I saw improvements in both the elbow department and in the squat depth department today during the main WOD. It was great.

Watching people develop and TRY – TRYING is the most important thing – is great. Even if the athlete cannot get to parallel, if they TRY to get there, that’s all I can ask for. That’s all I want to see. Improvement will come with practice. Holding a bar in the front rack position sounds easy, especially if you relate it to swinging a golf club, but to get good at both each requires practice. You don’t just walk into a CrossFit box and immediately perform a front squat to perfection without any coaching or practice.

It was a lot of fun and I look forward to more of it.


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