The 10,000ft view.
If you would have told a much younger version of me half of the things that I was going to learn in the next 6 years…I might have believed you. What I wouldn’t have believed is that I would learn them from being a CrossFit coach and affiliate owner. My younger self thought that “life’s big lessons” came from adventures, drama, and struggles like the ones you find on the movie screen or in the books I seldom put down a barbell or my phone to make time to read.
But those mediums are simply showing life-dramatized. They are what the viewer want to see, not what the hero experienced while living it. The characteristics, mannerisms, and the art of “knowing what to say & do in most any situation” that made my coaches and teachers great didn’t come from movies, books, or documentaries. It came from thousands of hours of experience. Those great teachers lived through situations that called on them to cultivate and grow those traits that made them stand out for what they did. Some call it “walking the walk”.
What do you tell an athlete who has reached a breakdown point made up of tears, frustration, and self-disappointment regarding a loss or upsetting performance? Where and when do you tell them whatever that is? Do you leave the gym floor to talk alone? Maybe you hug it out right there and just tell them “I’m proud of you, this just made you stronger.” and you go grab a bison burger for some gainz.
Whether it’s complex like the above, or it’s as simple as consistently being loud so the whole class can hear your instructions, how you coach people, matters. The way that you view an issue or topic affects how you approach it. The broader and more long-term your view is, the more good you will likely do for that client.
The 10,000-ft view.
Being able to zoom out of small problems and see them for what they are from a higher viewpoint allows you to create more positive outcomes for the people who have trusted you with their health, fitness, or sports career. Being the world’s best at teaching the squat snatch does not mean you will make a great coach. Better indicators of a great coach would be things like
- People looking forward to attending your class.
- Consistently about starting on time.
- Making sure you know everyone’s name and saying it when they come through the door.
- Making sure your classes are organized and safe.
- Knowing what you want people to experience with you, and delivering it consistently.
These elements of coaching are basic, but it takes a big-picture view to see that they are more important in the long run than being the best at teaching the snatch to your classes.
Questions to ask yourself as a coach to broaden your view.
- What do I want people to experience in my classes or sessions?
- Why is this important for them to have experienced, 6 months, 1 year, and even 10 years from now?
- How do I deliver it consistently?
Write it out. Stress test it by questioning it yourself and asking others who have experience and an opinion you value.
Leave the losing ideas behind.
Apply the winners in your career as a coach.