The Best Unemployed Coach in The Country

So I guess I can’t lay claim to being the greatest and best unemployed coach in the country anymore? Bugger, bottom of the rankings table for me so now!

So I created this little title for myself during my hiatus from operating a CrossFit box to keep my head up and hell, no one else was claiming to be it, so why not me? (Credit to my homeboy Dominic for the idea of creating a title!)

Over the last few months I’ve been helped along by a lot of people. I’m going to just say you know who you are because if I name people, I’m sure I’ll forget someone. So, you know who you are.

I’m writing this the day after the first class of CFI3.0. We’re reborn. It was an emotional day. It’s been an emotional year, lets be honest. But it was an emotional day. What really pleased me was seeing people genuinely happy to be back together again.

They were all talkin shit still!

They were all talkin shit still!

It’s not about fitness, really. It’s about the people and the collective struggle to achieve. That’s what binds us. Having a place to go every morning and burpees to do acts as a reason to get together. A shared purpose to act as the social bond.

Without the help of so many people, I wouldn’t be here. Now interestingly, everyone who I’ve said thanks to and told this to has just said that it was all me. Since you can’t say that straight away on the blog. Thank you for those who were my strength. Who supported and believed in me when I doubted myself. Who were either my cheerleader or my bully (sometimes both!) to keep me persevering.

I tried to find this card to send to those who deserved it!

I tried to find this card to send to those who deserved it!

One friend said to me he’d only known me as unemployed, and wondered would I turn back into an asshole once I got my own box again. It’s a fair comment!

What have I got to do now that I do have my own place? Well, firstly, I’ve got to continue to be generous with my time and my experience. Easy for me to give priority to people who can’t immediately reward me when I’ve an abundance of it, much more meaningful when I make time for people when time is precious. Sleep is eliminated in favour of coffee.

Or Hibiscus Refreshers, if that's your thing, Jay!

Or Hibiscus Refreshers, if that’s your thing, Jay!

Honestly, that’s probably it. Keep giving and make time for people. Get out there and help with no expectation of return. (Which, is difficult. It requires a lot of trust, and trust is a funny thing as you have to give it when there’s no guarantee of it being honoured, and even after trust is broken you’ve gotta find some more to give to those that need it.)

But, as I’m no longer the greatest unemployed coach in the country, what would be the characteristics of the greatest coach? So here I humbly submit some criteria we could use to judge who would be the best coach.

Firstly, I think results. What do your top athletes perform like? I don’t think you can rely on just one stand out athlete as this highly skews your record. One flare up girl who can deadlift world records doesn’t make you a powerlifting coach 😛

When you think about it, really, it's just a failed power clean.

When you think about it, really, it’s just a failed power clean.

A better criteria would be an average of what people are doing after 3 months, 6 months, 12 months in your gym. Do they all achieve bodyweight deadlifts, squats, power cleans, overhead squats, snatches? Do they have pull ups?

Secondly to this is how well educated they are towards movement. Do your athletes know what to look for in a squat? Can they tell the difference between a connected and disjointed kip? Do they understand what a workout is testing/training by looking at it? Granted you’ve clients who just switch off and do what they’re told, you’ve also fanatics in your gym too.

Arguably one criterion should their community score. In fact, all of Ben’s blog is pretty brilliant. Go read that. (After you’ve liked and shared this article of course!)

Next up would be reputation. How many raving fans do they have? Do people listen to them purely because it’s them. If someone is taking your word at gospel either you’re an exceptional spoofer OR you’ve provided enough real, valuable, useable advice to people time and time again that you’ve built up the trust factor.

Like this guy.

Like this guy.

Another marker of a good coach could be how far people are willing to travel or inconvenience themselves just to train with you/be guided by you. Are they migrating from other gyms to train with you? Are they driving past other facilities to train with you?

Ultimately all coaches have at their disposal is how much they give a shit. What we do is guesswork, which I’ll get into in a future post. It’s educated guesswork sure, but still guesswork. So I offer the lasting psychological impact you have on a client as my number one criteria of a coach.

Did you boost their confidence? Did you see potential in them that they didn’t see and help show it to them? Do they look back fondly on how you treated them and what they achieved while in your care?

That to me, if we had to pick just one, would be the overall guiding marker of what makes the best coach.

What are you criteria?

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