Level 2 Reflections

I recently attended the CrossFit Level 2 Seminar, a weekend of practicing and learning the craft of coaching from a few of the greatest coaches that CrossFit has to offer, an incredibly positive and motivating experience to say the least. I wanted to share my experience at the seminar with the community to help you see what this looks like from my point of view and how important it is for us as coaches (and athletes, and people) to continue investing in ourselves and becoming the best that we can be. Coaching is exciting. We go on gathering knowledge and experience and we want to share that knowledge and experience with our athletes. That passion is invaluable and an absolute necessity for the success of a class, but all of that beautiful, saucy knowledge is of little value if athletes can’t make sense of it. We are blessed with an incredibly knowledgeable community at NapTown but that means our coaches can be even more concise and still get their point across. Nothing is worse than a coach going full professor mode mid workout when you are just trying to get your sweat on. What I’m getting at is this: The role of a coach is to be effective in making athletes move safely and correctly and this is often best accomplished with short and simple cueing. If I see someone failing to open their hips up completely at the top of the squat, is it more effective to explain what is happening and why it is not to the standard and what the possible ramifications are for this same flaw over the course of hundreds of reps or to simply say “stand tall at the top”? The answer seems obvious but I am certainly guilty of falling into the over explanation trap again and again. This was a huge theme that ran throughout the entire seminar and many of the coaches (participants) were given feedback about this. I had received feedback on this while I was going through the Naptown Leadership Program and comparing my notes from then to the notes I took at the L2 I could really see the level of professionalism at NapTown and the commitment to the classic Crossfit adage of pursuing virtuosity, performing the common uncommonly well.   A master at the height of their craft is a master because they are committed to excelling at the fundamentals. We talked a great deal about being relentless with our athletes. This doesn’t mean overcoaching but a relentless pursuit of developing our craft as coaches (CF Foundations of Effective Training : Pages 12-21) and balancing this out with praise and compassion for athletes. The L2 seminar was an in depth examination of how to improve my craft as a coach. While I don’t think it’s necessary to go over all of this here (see, we’re learning already!), I will say that the time under the microscope of the L2 staff was a fresh spark and a recommitment to this process. Coaching is emotionally demanding work, and although you may not always see it as an athlete, there are highs and lows every day. It’s very easy to feel stagnant or complacent and the L2 was a welcome reminder that this is a never ending journey to excellence. Let’s come back to the importance of a passion for coaching. This is only one of several areas that are used to evaluate coaching ability in the course but the seminar staff were all in agreement: passion is unteachable and nothing can replace it. While we can be forgiven for not knowing everything, or making a mistake, our interest in our athletes and excitement for coaching has to be authentic. I know that I am not a perfect coach, and the instructors were relentless in reminding me that this was not the case.  But it was reassuring to know that I still have the “right stuff” to keep working to get there. I went through the course with Coach Karl. He was one of the first coaches I got to know at NapTown when I started coming to the gym and is a great example of a coach with this passion. I will summarize my experience at the L2 with something that I hear him say all the time. Karl on coaching: “It’s just who I am!” Coach Logan Webb]]>