Master of the Many

By Emily Beers

In Coaching

April 05, 2015

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It takes great skill to manage a large group of athletes. Affiliate owners share how they learned to do it and how they’re teaching others to be leaders.

Coaching a group class is a bit like being an offensive lineman on the football field: When you perform well, you’re not always rewarded, but it’s incredibly obvious when you mess up.

When you’re disorganized and don’t pay attention to the small details, your class can quickly spiral into chaos and confusion. But when you master coaching a group of 20 people, classes appear to run almost effortlessly.

In the 2006 CrossFit Journal article “Scaling Professional Training,” CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO Greg Glassman wrote about the challenges of the transition from working predominantly in a one-on-one setting to coaching group classes. As a solution to a busy schedule, Glassman started training his existing clients in pairs and slowly moved to larger groups.

“To run group classes without compromising our hallmark laser focus and commitment to the athlete, the trainer has to learn to give each member of the group the impression that he is getting all the attention that he could get in one-on-one training, and that requires tremendous training skill,” Glassman wrote of one of the challenges.

It’s been nine years since Glassman wrote the article, but coaches today are continually faced with the same challenges Glassman identified.

So how does the affiliate owner get coaches ready to lead and manage a large group with skill?

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2 Comments on “Master of the Many”


wrote …

Being a native of Santa Cruz, CA ( Pleasure Point Dr. By 36th and a 2001 SC high grad) I was introduced to the world of crossFit at it's birthplace in High School to train for Football and prepare for Collegiate D1 ball. The philosophy of CrossFit was instilled in me from a very young age and made me who I am today. I played 4 years in the NFL before suffering a career ending neck injury. It's been six years since ive used CrossFit in my training regimen due to several surgeries and my Ortho surgeons strongly urging me to completely eliminate the training philosophy from my workouts. I'm Now finally ready to embark on a 1 year CrossFit training regiment to get in the best shape of my life at the age of 32. I'm 6'2" 245lbs w/15-18% BF. My overall goal is to get down to 210-215 w/ 6-8% BF and break my personal squat record of 600lbs when I was 24. Like the vast majority of orthopedic surgeons strongly stress the dangers involved with squats, my surgeon is no different with his continuous ignorant pleas to avoid squats. It's quite baffling that so many brilliant Doctors that are highly educated in the field of Physiology of human Anatomy and exercise are so blind to the essential benefits of squats and powerful legs. I've always wanted to ask my Doctors " by which method do you expect your patients to get off the toilet"? They would find themselves without a single rebuttal which would be refreshing to witness. Greg Glassman is a genius and one of my idols from my hometown and he is responsible for transforming a teenage kid into an elite professonal athlete from his teachings and direction. Your the Man Greg and I thank you for teaching me what discipline is all about. The next chapter in my life is about to begin soon and I'm coming back bigger and better than ever. Well bang'n' clang that iron fellow CrossFitters and remember that pain is weakness leaving the body. For you beginners that are about to take themselves to hell and back, just tell yourself that you'd rather be covered in sweat in the gym than be covered in clothes on the beach. NorCal for life! Brian Coons, M.S. Physical Therapy, C.S.C.S. ACE C-PT, N.A.T.A. Certified, Strength and Conditioning coach Washington Redskins.


wrote …

I'm enrolled for the CrossFit Level 1 certificate course in Washington D.C. On April 18th. If I pass I will then enroll in the CrossFit Football Training course in Alexandria,VA May 2nd and will be bringing my friend RGIII QB for my employer Washington Redskins whom I helped train when rehabbing his ACL tear in his knee his rookie year during the playoffs of 2013. He is the hardest worker I've ever known and a true role model. He is addicted to CrossFit and is very advanced after just 18 months. I clocked his 40 yard at 4.43 just nine months after his surgery and he can bench 225lbs for 31 reps with a vertical of 39". Beat that Froning!

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