Running a box is more than just training athletes: it’s about managing them, too.
Skip Chase opened Mt. Baker CrossFit in 2005 with two barbells and about 300 lb. of weight, so he had to learn how to get groups of athletes through a workout quickly, safely and efficiently. Chase has more equipment now, but he still believes it’s important for trainers to work with the equipment and staff they have to give athletes the best experience.
Chase starts every WOD by having everyone do the CrossFit Warm-Up, and he’ll use that time to organize them into groups that can be set loose on a variety of activities depending on availability of equipment.
As for trainers, Chase selects them from his membership. Prospective trainers must work out at the box for at least six months, and they have to live and breathe CrossFit, including the Zone Diet. After that they’ll head to a Level 1 Cert and shadow one of the senior coaches at Chase’s box.
Chase is also big on coach-athlete interaction, and he strives to keep his athletes focused while motivating them and driving them with positive energy. That means chatting is kept to a minimum before the WOD. After the athletes are finished, they’re free to swap all the stories they want in between Fran coughs.
Additional reading: You Be the Trainer No. 4, published Sept. 30, 2009.