Does That Make Sense?

I just now realized and became very happy about a commonality in our coaching staff.  Maybe you’ve noticed it, and if not I hope you do after I go on for too long about it right here.  All of our coaches want our members to be the most educated group of CrossFitters out there.  When I think about all of our coaching styles, and indeed every CFKI coach is very unique, the common thread is that we want you to UNDERSTAND.  We’re not just in the gym for an hour to lead a group through a warm-up, workout and cool-down, as a glorified babysitter or cheerleader.  We explain the reason we are doing what we are doing, and many times follow it up with, “Does that make sense?”  We really want to know!
Those of you that have traveled around the CrossFit world have probably dropped into classes where it felt a little bit different.  There’s a quick warm-up, maybe that you do on your own.  Then there is a ton of weightlifting, an “EMOM” and then a “metcon”, and you’re adding it all up in your head and wondering how you’re going to get through it all in an hour.  When the coach asks “Any questions?” after running through the workout in one breath, he’s not expecting any.  He doesn’t have time!
Contrast that with when Alyssa turns the warm-up into an extended skill session on bar muscle-ups (and someone gets their first one before the workout).  Or when Jason corrects your clean technique, asking you not to pull with your arms before your hips are extended, but then a) explains exactly why that will help, and b) sticks around to make sure you’ve drilled that correction a few times.  I’ve seen Liz stand at the whiteboard and demonstrate movements with a PVC pipe, scanning the room to make sure everyone’s watching and nodding that they understand the key points of performance.  Both Denee and Alicia will drop what they’re doing during Open Gym to help someone out that looks like they’re struggling with double-unders or squat snatches.  I’m pretty sure they both became coaches so that they felt like they were allowed to do that!
All of our coaches want you to get a good workout in that hour-long class, for sure.  But more than that, we want you to leave the gym that day feeling like you improved — even if that just means you improved your knowledge of a movement.  We are aiming to build a community of fitness experts, not just enthusiasts, so that you all can make educated decisions for yourselves when dropping into that other gym, or creating or scaling a workout for a friend.  Maybe you even want to try your hand at coaching others someday!
I know I’m sometimes not the most personable guy — I can come across as standoffish (sorry 5am class when I sub for Jason…)  Really good personality trait for a coach, I know.  But I’ve realized that what makes me most excited in my relationships is when I feel like I’m getting through to someone, and when I can see someone develop and grow.  That, along with my passion for CrossFit, is why I started CFKI!
So when I’m explaining the “why” behind a mobilization technique or my reason for scaling pull-ups a certain way today, and then follow it with, “Does that make sense?” — I really want to know!  If it doesn’t, I want to have the opportunity to explain it or demonstrate it in a different way, so that you get it.  And then I’ll be happy!

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