April 15th, 2017

With Katie and Shannon working hard on their coaches residency, I had them stop and reflect on what they’ve learned and experienced so far and how it may change their mindset.  We’ve worked through approximately 6 hours of our 80 hour residency program.  With our road to coach series we want to keep the community apart of this process of bringing new coaches into class.  Along with their reflections we wanted to show some pictures from their previous “Train to Coach” session.  We hope you guys enjoy reading about their process as much as I have been bringing them through it.

SHANNON
When working with Andrew on the squats and presses, we really broke the movements down and at
their simplest they are things we do a million times in a day without thinking about them. They are the
squat you have to do in order to sit into a chair, the push press you do when playing with your baby, and
the deadlift when you pick up a couch on moving day. These were the cues that rang true as Katie and
worked through our demos and really as I contemplated “why CrossFit” they are the benefits we all get
to bring home. From chasing kids to competing in The Open, these functional movements are practical
steps towards a more active and meaningful life.

After eight years of CrossFit you sort of feel like you have tried it all – you have progressed to a point
where you know yourself as an athlete, your weaknesses and strengths. So learning to teach others is
kind of an out of body experience and yet my biggest take away is how humbling these movements are
for all of us. There is not a CrossFitter or Olympic Weightlifter that I know that is not working on
something. In the beginning it is more about getting comfortable being uncomfortable so finding the
bottom of your squat and working towards greater depth is a huge win and then in time it becomes
about building speed and efficiency into your lifts so you can add weight and in that 5 pounds can be a
giant victory. But here is the magic – we are all in it together so it doesn’t matter if we are on day 4 or
day 400 everyone is chasing their next PR and that is so powerful.

I am so excited to keep learning and working hard – it has given me a chance to see CrossFit from the
perspective of a new person again and to work towards not taking all that we know for granted. Can’t
wait for the next couple of week – bring it on!

KATIE

It has been an exciting and nerve racking first few weeks in the TCCF Residency Program!  I have learned a lot about myself, my previous purpose in this gym and of course about specific coaching techniques!  Before we even get to the movement training portion of coaching, I want to first reflect on me…my previous purpose in the gym and how that has changed already!

All this time I have been coming here, I have simply done my job as a member.  I showed up.  I just showed up!  I totally and completely let the coaches take it from there!  Seeing as outside of the gym I wear the many decision-making hats that is required of a mom, I was happy to hang up all my hats the moment I walked into the gym doors each day.  I think that was one of the big reasons the gym became my happy place so fast!  I didn’t think about safely warming myself up before handling some heavy loads…or working on my mobility so that I can increase my range of motion.  Heck!  That was the coach’s job!  I didn’t even need to remember what we did once we finished doing it!

Because of this mentality of mine (which is a great perk of being a member), I didn’t worry about the “whys” of our movements.  I never looked at the correlation between our warm-up movements and what we were doing that day in strength and conditioning.  Heck, you may have even seen me have a conversation with another member while the coach was explaining the workout on the white board (EEEEK!).  Well now?  Now I find myself taking in the warm ups, finding the associations of them to our workouts.  I am listening and studying the coaches’ explanations…watching their movements and validating their cues in my head.  It’s really quite different than the “just show up and do what they say approach” I had before I began this road-to-coaching adventure!

The coaching of movements part of the residency program really threw me for a loop initially as well!  I feel pretty solid in my mobility, lifts and other movements…but when I tried to put them into words?  Forget about it!  I don’t think I have ever been so clutzy in speaking at my first attempt!  I have never had to put an air squat into words, or breakdown a push press into beginning, middle and end movements…it was quite comical the first time I tried!  I mean I know HOW to do these movements….so just explaining it should be a breeze, right?  Well, once I got over my first-week jitters, I think I am improving!  It doesn’t hurt to have such a great and patient coach and training partner (that’s a shout out to you Coach Andrew and Shannon!)

Another awesome take-away from my experience so far is that the individuality of each person’s lift varies greatly, for a number of reasons.  Understanding what a textbook lift looks like, but then knowing the individual limitations of each unique body is pretty interesting!  I am learning to focus not on the entire movement at once, but on each part separately.  There’s so much to look at…ankles, knees, hips, back and shoulders.  And just as I may fix one part of a movement, another may show up.  I am learning that coaches must take a very dynamic approach to watching movements-as you will miss so much if you watch it in its entirety.