Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘workout’

Why I Coach and Why I Care About Your Coach

Why do I coach? I mean, I already have a day job, and 24 hours in a day is a lie. Why do I care about CrossFit coaching that occurs, or as the case may be doesn’t occur, in other Boxes? Heck, I’m fortunate in that I have personal access to our CrossFit Subject Matter Experts (great video by Coach Burgener on CrossFit.com. Keep ’em coming!), and one of my favorite places–CrossFit.com–has no real coaching to speak of. There are lots of demonstrations but no real feedback, and you need both for true coaching.

I coach for rather selfish reasons. It’s unbelievably satisfying to see someone achieve a goal they could barely even imagine, even more satisfying to have that athlete give thanks for whatever small contribution I might have made. I enjoy it so much that I took a huge bite of humble pie and went to a clinic where better coaches dissected all aspects of my coaching in order that I might be better. My son Randy ¬†and wife Beth came for the same reasons. I coach for the pure enjoyment of helping people get better, and I coach CrossFit because it’s simply the the best way I’ve found to achieve that.

Why, then, would I care about coaching anywhere else by anyone else? Greg Glassman has not only given us the CrossFit system of creating fitness, he has offered a clear path to a greater role for a coach in the production of not only fitness but also health. I am part of that coaching lineage. What am I to make then of the athlete who comes to my gym with 2 years of membership in a CrossFit Affiliate who cannot perform an air squat? What is the appropriate reaction when I see athletes from other Boxes participating in fitness competitions who perform basic lifts at opening weights with grossly dangerous form? It makes me wonder if they were ever coached at all.

If you are a CrossFit athlete at an Affiliate gym you should demand coaching. More than that, you should demand coaching excellence. You’ve chosen to join a gym and you’ve put yourself in the hands of a coach who should be teaching you CrossFit and teaching it well. Otherwise you might just as well hang out on CrossFit.com. Perhaps you would be better off.

For CrossFit coaches out there I’m throwing down the gauntlet. It’s no longer enough to just roll out some rubber flooring and hang a few pull-up bars, if it ever was. You’ve been hired to coach athletes and make them better. Do it. You are trained to coach CrossFit, so for the love of God coach CrossFit. Teach mechanics, then consistency, then and only then intensity. Seek for them and on their behalf virtuosity in both your coaching and their CrossFit. You, too, are part of that same coaching lineage as I, one that began with Coach Glassman and includes thousands of others. How you coach reflects on each of us, and frankly it reflects on CrossFit itself.

That, my friend, is why I care.

 

 

CrossFit and Routine

“Constantly varied…” So, routine is the enemy, right? Well, yes and no. Routine is one of those multi-layered words that applies in many ways in many situations.

Routine is the enemy when we train, and I think this is true for almost all athletes, almost everyone who trains. We risk acclimation to the stimulus if we have a strict routine in the gym, if our workouts are substantially the same day after day. We further risk the numbing effects of boredom, a slow ebbing of our enthusiasm and our resolve. Routine is the major building block, the cornerstone in the brick wall that often stands between athlete/trainee and training.

Routine is our ally when “routine” is synonymous with “consistency”. Remember “Form, then consistency, and only then intensity.” The establishment of a routine, a schedule, a commitment of time and spirit to the quest for fitness, health, and athletic achievement is the first paving stone on the highway of living.

Routine, the yin and yang, push and pull, up and down, enemy and ally.

 

Habit Forming

I just finished a killer of a Crossfit workout I didn’t really want to do. Have you had those days when you trudge into the gym, the Box, with little to no desire to be there? Beaten down and on the verge of defeat, you simply show up, punch in, go through the motions, punch out. Had some of those? Yah…me, too. It happens elsewhere in your life, too, in other places and at other times when you don’t really ‘have to’ be there, doesn’t it?

Well then, why did you show up?

There’s a continuum, I think, along a line that includes discipline, motivation, and habit. It might be a circle or a feedback loop–I’m not sure yet. The end result is something like consistency. Was it some sort of discipline that prompted you to go to the gym and do that workout when you didn’t really have any too much desire to be there? Some sort of force of will, a conscious imposition of rational to overpower emotion? Or were you simply motivated by some end-goal long before chosen, a milepost toward which you travel no matter what because the destination is so compelling? Subtle, I know, and I confess that the subtle difference between discipline and motivation escapes my vocabulary at this stage.

What I DO understand, though, is the concept of habit, and habit formation, and the consistency that arises from positive habits. You know, just like the Crossfit prescription of Form before Consistency before Intensity. Whether it’s the PULL of motivation to arrive at some wonderful destination, or the PUSH of discipline driving you there, it is the creation of habit, of consistency, that ultimately gets the job done.

Success is about building those habits, the ones that produce good outcomes. You went to the gym that day because going to the Box at that time is the habit you’ve developed; punching that clock on that day provides the consistency that will bring a giant forward leap on the next day when you show up with a spring in your step and fire in your belly. Any kind of habit that consistently moves you forward along a road to success is a habit worth creating. For example, I’m in the habit of assuming that every day in the office is gonna be a good day, unless it’s a great day, and I’ve noticed that this kind of habit is contagious.

Whether pushed by discipline or pulled by motivation, give yourself permission to create habits that move you.