The Triage Concept

By Pat Sherwood and Chris Spealler

In Coaching, Reference, Videos

March 14, 2010

Video Article

Each CrossFit movement has a host of points of performance. Therefore, athletes have a host of opportunities to make mistakes, and vigilant trainers have to work hard to create safe, efficient movement in each athlete.

Because CrossFit uses compound exercises, trainers are often faced with a number of flaws in a single movement. In the push press, for example, an athlete can take a very wide stance, hold the elbows up too high, relax the core, forget to wrap the thumb around the bar, incline the torso during the dip, pause at the bottom of the dip, and slowly drive the bar overhead without fully opening the hips.

So where do you start correcting a movement packed with flaws? The key is the “triage concept,” where all flaws are important but the worst are addressed first.

In this video from a CrossFit Coaches Prep Seminar, Pat Sherwood talks about how to prioritze which faults to address first, both in one-on-one sessions and group classes. Working with an athlete on a squat, Chris Spealler puts the triage concept into practice.

The Coaches Prep Seminar builds upon the Level 1 Certification and is designed for coaches looking to take their training to the next level. To register for the course, visit

6min 07sec

Additional video: An Introduction to the New Coaches Prep Course by Nicole Carroll and Chris Spealler, published Feb. 12, 2010.

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5 Comments on “The Triage Concept”


wrote …

Great video.


wrote …

Great video. Sometimes it just helps to hear these points again even though you already know them. I am a fairly new trainer and this is one aspect that I have noticed myself that I have gotten much better at. Trying to fix multiple points can be very frustrating for a client learning something new. Keep these videos comin'.


wrote …

Awesome to see this concept in the journal. Ensures best situation for everyone - the athlete is protected and can progress quickly and safely, and the coach looks like a genius for clearing up multiple faults with one correction.

More of this would be great.


wrote …

NIce video guys - Thanks Cherie


wrote …

Pat Sherwood and Jon Gilson are both fantastically concise, articulate, well structured presenters/speakers.

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