Coaching starts with a game plan, says CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member and CrossFit Games athlete Rory Zambard. In addition to other elements, that plan should include scaling options for athletes. On this particular day, the focus is on a gymnastics movement.
“So I know people aren’t going to be able to do strict handstand push-ups—head touching the floor. ... So I came in knowing three or four different scaling options,” Zambard says.
First, she explains to the class how to initiate a handstand while keeping the feet on the floor and touching the top of the head to the ground. Then she has an athlete modify the position by performing the same movement with the knees on a box. For another athlete, Zambard offers a cue designed to help him generate more power in a kipping handstand push-up.
The technical information, however, is only one part of being a great coach.
“Coaching is knowing what people need, and it’s knowing how to give it to them—not just having the knowledge but also being able to portray that knowledge to people and giving them what they need in the dose that they need it,” Zambard says.
Video by Ian Wittenber.
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Additional reading: The Freestanding Handstand Pushup by Roger Harrell, published June 1, 2006.