In Coaching, Reference

May 01, 2008

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Think. Learn. Apply. Every single coach and teacher I have ever met who was worth their salt does this and does it on a near daily basis. To coach and teach effectively we must learn as much as we can, interpret what is learned as best we can, then present it to our trainees and students in the most approachable and practical format possible so they might use what we know to achieve their particular goals.

This is a tall order. In the course of our hugely complicated daily lives, the time to read and to just think and assimilate is rare. I think the public imagines that being a coach or trainer means working with a few clients, training yourself at your leisure, drinking bottled water while wolfing down supplements and natural foods, and then going home to go do outdoorsy things in your free time. They consider only the face time a trainer has with a client as "work"; the rest of the time is just hanging out at the gym putzing.

That vision is a far cry from the reality of o-dark-thirty (a.m. and p.m.) sessions in the same day, financial operations, PR duties, housekeeping, equipment maintenance, correspondence, continuing education, website maintenance and community participation, not to mention the record keeping, programming, and continual progress evaluations that must be done for each trainee. But there is still another type of work time that no one sees. It consists of labors that can be done anywhere, labors that involve the mind, books, words, and brainstorming.

Maybe you are considering possible solutions to a training problem, watching another trainer do something you hadn't thought of before, mentally organizing a novel training program for a specific client, discussing issues with colleagues; or maybe it's thinking about what you read in a book, journal article, or website on the science of training. It doesn't look like work, but it is. It isn't measurable, quantifiable, billable, or even visible. But this "invisible work time" is one of the most important parts of the job.

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4 Comments on “Dissecting the Fish: Plotting Progress in Multi-Mode Training”


wrote …

This is such a great article that I wish so many more people could read in order to fully understand what we, as trainers, do on a day to day basis. Kudos to the author of this article.


Cameron Cassidy wrote …

Amazing article, very complex ideas. Clients always have areas they are stronger in (no pun intended) and I am now going to simpfly and use less complex training methods for areas clients are not so strong in. Are there any other articles or information on this topic?


wrote …

Great article! I extend my thanks to all the amazing contributors of the CrossFit Journal. I would absoloutely love to attend a barball cert... now if only one would run in Australia :)


wrote …

Amazing article!

It suggests what we all aspire to learn and execute... Find your weaknesses, spend time turning them into strengths, rinse, lather repeat.

The author makes points almost apologetically when referring to the need for improved strength in weak CF'ers... how odd...because its

Fascinating how periodized strength training in conjunction with metcon WOD's is resolving many issues e.g. CF Football/ CFSB etc...

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