I was sent this excellent article by Leila and the author has made some outstanding points that everyone can benefit from. Please, take a few minutes, do yourself a favor and give it a read.
Are You Coachable?
I have pretty much played sports since I can remember. Not saying I was ever great at any one sport, but I played them. I remember vividly running laps in volleyball practice my freshman year. I just thought the coach hated me…there I was running laps while the other girls were diving for volleyballs. Why was I running laps? I didn’t dive for the damn ball, ever!! I don’t know if I was scared, or what….but she knew I could do it. So when I messed up, I ran laps. Did I hate her?! At the time, yes. What 14 year old likes any adult? But I did what she told me to do, no matter what it was. Eventually after her coaching cues, numerous days of laps, and practices, I got better! In fact, I was team captain senior year, and our team won tournaments, awards, and were awesome!! All the hard work of listening to her, staying after practice to set more, etc earned me the MVP award that year. So although I didn’t see why (at the time) I had to run laps or get yelled at; it made me a better athlete.
When I asked my brother if he is coachable here is basically how our convo went….
Do I listen…yeah. Yeah I am coachable. But, if my coached asked me if I was coachable, I would take it as I am f*cked up, that I need to fix something, or that he is trying to motivate me. My coach knows me and so by him asking me that, would be like a red flag. On the other hand, if some brand new coach who I didn’t know or he didn’t know me asked if I am coachable…I would take it as I need to prove myself to them.
When I asked my husband if he is coachable, this is what he said.
Well not all the time. In a workout I am not. If I am doing strength, skill work, or barbell movement practice then I am 100% coachable. After 3,2,1 GO I don’t really listen to anyone or anything, I don’t even hear the music. If you try to stop me in the WOD and get me to fix something…yeah thats probably not going to happen. At this point, I need cues from my coach before the 321….
So are you coachable?!
Whether you are just learning CrossFit or competing at the highest levels, you should always be striving to improve! While you can get better on your own by continuing to workout and watch others, the most efficient method of improvement involves coaching.
It is said that there are five steps to being coachable: Humility, Action Bias, Purity of Purpose, Surrendering Control and Faith. Remember too that your temperament, your adaptability and how you respond to criticism are part of your coachability factor. Basically, it’s a trait that comes easier for some than for others. Listening will not only get you to your movements & goals faster, but provide safety with less opportunity for injury.
A coach can provide that outside analysis of your form and your tendencies that can be difficult for you to recognize yourself. In order to benefit from that coach’s knowledge you don’t just need to have a coach, you need to be coachable.
If you’re wondering if you’re coachable, take a look at the three pillars of coachability and ask yourself if you are a coach’s dream or a coach’s nightmare.
Do you have the ability to listen?
Do you have willingness to try new things?
Do you have the ability to adapt to change?
What do I as a coach look for in an athlete?
Someone who is ok with slowing down the movement and learning it step by step to perfect their form. Long term thinkers who measure progress in months/years and not day to day. They compete with themselves first vs competing against others. They have fun! They practice movements and work on goals on their own. They respect me as their coach. They understand that they don’t know it all. They listen and don’t argue back.
7 Ways to Make Yourself More Coachable by Dave Lipson of CrossFit Invictus
- Show up 10 minutes early. This will help you check out the workout, watching the previous class finish. You can get a glimpse of the scaling options, target times and goals for the workout, and give you a transition time to mentally ramp up to get in the right mindset.
- Talk to your coach. Before the workout is a great time to bring to the coach’s attention any special need or considerations you might have. Maybe you have an injury, maybe you are scared, maybe there is something that is especially challenging for you. Before class is a great time to address those things.
- “Get in tight!” Like it’s cold and I’m the camp fire when we are briefing the workout or going over ways to attack the workout. Having to repeat stuff takes time away from athletes, so get it in close even if it gets a little weird.
- Slow it down when we go over progressions. We are after quality, not quantity, when it comes to learning movement. Don’t be in a rush. Quiet your mind and concentrate on the concise cues the coach is giving. Work on improving little details, and retain those little improvements, so they can accumulate over time.
- Get eyes on you. Ask the coach to watch your movement. It doesn’t have to be every rep, but the coach should see a few good reps for every athlete and regardless of your ability you should walk away with at least one cue. Wait for the coach, ask for attention. This also puts pressure on you to perform with an audience.
- Write your cues down in a log. If there was a tactile or verbal cue that worked well with you, jot it down. Athletes internalize things in different ways, maybe squatting against the wall gives you a better lumbar curve or maybe if you just hear “arch your back” and that gets you there. Keep an inventory of your fixes.
- Stay after class. Pick the brains of coaches. Let them get into more details for the fixes or recommendations they made for you. This is a great chance to go into more detail and get the “why” of the actionable cues you got. After class is also a great time to work on those weaknesses that challenge you. Maybe it is getting reps of the kipping pull-up progression or working on double-unders. It is often the accumulation of this time that facilitate breakthoughs.
These are a few ways to maximize the athlete coach experience. Understand that communication is a two-way street. We give a cue and you communicate with a physical result. But there are some types of communication that are not communicated physically. If there are any emotional considerations or things that we need to know to get you to work at the threshold of your physical and mental capacity we have a very approachable and empathetic staff waiting to help.
A: Wtd. Strict Pull Ups 3 sets of max reps; rest 2 minutes b/t sets. If you are unable to do strict pull ups: do either bodyweight negatives or wtd. negatives based on your strength. 3 second lower.
EMOM for 18 minutes:
- 7 Pull Ups
- 15 Anchored Wtd. Sit Ups
- 10 Deficit Push Ups (use a pair of 10# plates to give you the deficit)