Continuing with our ongoing theme of giving you an inside look into the workings of the gym, this post is going to give a brief explanation of the coaching philosophy at CrossFit Ktown.
The most important thing to understand is that…
Coaching CrossFit is exactly like doing CrossFit.
What I mean is that just as participating in CrossFit forces us to engage in a continuing process of learning and developing a potentially infinite number of skills and exercises (the unknown and unknowable), CrossFit coaches must engage in a continuous process of learning and developing coaching skills and strategies to best communicate those skills and exercises to a broad range of individuals.
How do coaches at CrossFit Ktown engage in this process?
This really is the million dollar question, and the one that makes coaching CrossFit so much fun. There are potentially INFINITE ways to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to be a great coach. Each of the coaches at CrossFit Ktown has a different background in athletics, coaching, and leadership that serves to give each their own unique style. However, for simplicity and brevity, I will discuss some of the commonalities rather than focusing on the differences.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course
All CrossFit Coaches must take this course. It is the basic, weekend long course that allows us to do what we do. Having recently retaken the course (we have to get re-certified every 5 years), I can tell you that the foundation laid at this course is extremely important. Many of the things covered in terms of movement instruction and class management are used so frequently by us as coaches that we almost take them for granted. That being said, the Level 1 is a foundation, a beginning. By no means is it the end of a coach’s journey, and it is not intended as such. Much like the On Ramp is merely the beginning of an athlete’s CrossFit journey at Ktown.
CrossFit Ktown Internship Program
Because we want our coaches to engage in a continuous learning process, we have the Internship Program at CrossFit Ktown. Potential new coaches must complete 40 hours in each level of shadowing current coaches, co-coaching classes, and finally leading classes. I personally believe there is no substitute for experience, and this allows new coaches to gain a significant amount before being thrown to the proverbial wolves. The intern does not graduate the program upon completion of the required “class-leading” hours though; instead, he or she must pass the scrutiny of the head coaches to graduate. This program itself is constantly being refined to better serve new coaches and our members.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, becoming a coach means engaging in a continuous learning process that should have no real end. At Ktown, there is formal continuing education in the form of coaches’ meetings and additional certifications – kettlebell, rowing, endurance, weightlifting, gymnastics, etc. And there is also informal continuing education. This takes the form of reading blogs like this one, doing independent research on movements or skills that pique our interest, sharing ideas with our fellow coaches.
Just as it takes years of training to begin to become proficient in the majority of CrossFit movements, so too for CrossFit coaches. This is why we are always refining and always trying to develop new ways to deliver an even better product to you, the athletes. I personally have been coaching CrossFit since 2010, and I still keep learning new techniques and discovering new understandings of basic concepts. The learning never stops for us, and we hope it never stops for you.