Be aware of your inner cheerleader

Coaching is done on invidivual level. You want to be active in teaching, showing, correcting and encouraging and you want to be relentless in your pursuit of making everyone better, every single session.

I used to be a body pump instructor. I was specifically told not to leave the stage during classes and hence could not walk up to clients and correct their technique. That was very limiting and frustrating. As a crossfit-coach you are NOT limitied to staying on stage and thus should use every possible opportunity to work closely to your clients. Closely means close 😉

If and when you work close to your clients, there will be no need for yeeling and cheering, imagine standing close to someone and yelling instructions, that would feel a bit weird, right? Like a military officer? There are fitness programs like that…

Cheerleaders yell! Cheerleaders stand on the sideline and shout! Cheerleaders cheer!

You are a COACH. ”Coaching” is a method to establish awareness and responsibility in a person. When we COACH someone, in sports or at work, we use QUESTIONS that helps our client think and come up with their own answers. If you are skilled, that is what you do in goal reviews and also partly in No Sweat Intros. That is part of what we do at class as well. In class, that could be asking a question instead of yelling ”well done!” to someone. Try this for instance:

When someone makes a good lift, instead of saying ”good, you really pulled close to your body!” ASK them: ”What do you think was the key to success in that lift?” Have them THINK and REFLECT before you give your opinion. Remember what coaching is about 😊

Another thing about being a cheerleader, or we might as well just call it ”a shouter”. People don´t get the chance to ”get to know you” if you just hover around the room and always communicate with a group instead of individuals. Are you friendly? Can you be stubborn? Do you have something encouraging to say to a specific person? Could it be more powerful to WHISPER something than to shout it? There must be a balance in how you coach and communicate. You should never HAVE to raise your voice in class.

In a 20 min AMRAP, when could/would it be appropriate to yell and shout?

  • Perhaps if you want to tell a hard working group how much time has passed?
  • Perhaps in the end, last 1-2 minutes, if you REALLY want them to push? Is that the intent of the 20 min AMRAP?

When else do you need to yell and shout. You want clients to complete the session with great technique and full range of motion, that is not achieved by yelling and shouting to a group, that is achieved by working the room and having a system for staying with each individual long enough to make sure that they are being consistent. 20 min amrap with 12 clients means that you can spend 2-3 minutes to establish some kind of flow, then you could EASILY spend TWELVE minutes walking around and spending ONE FULL minute with every client and STILL have 3-4 minutes to increase energy in the end…that is worth thinking about.

Why do we yell and shout in a class? I want you to really think about that.

  • If someone is playing music so loud we can´t make ourselves heard?
  • If a group is really not listening?
  • If we want to give time indications?
  • If we really want to increase energy and really GO FOR IT!

The first two can and should be solved in other ways then yelling. The other two could be legit reasons. But then, if you yell ALL THE TIME, how is the group going to know when you REALLY want them to GO FOR IT!?

There must be a variation in how you communicate. Your coaching should be dominated by talking and adressing individuals throughout every session, your volume can definitely be loud enough for the group to hear but that is still different from being the cheerleader. If we have two coaches in a class, and both are mostly yelling and shouting, why do we need two coaches? To increase ”yelling frequency”? 😊

Very few minutes in a class should be about yelling and shouting. If you stop yelling and shouting you will notice that you have to get closer to clients in order to coach, yes exactly! Coaching is done on an individual level, it requires touching, it requires asking questions, it requires relentlessness and it requires getting a bit uncomfortable and staying for longer time periods with every individual.

I want you to reflect on how you use your voice during class. Are you a cheerleader most of the time? Be honest to yourself.

It is a very common movement pattern for coaches to ”hover around the room” in some sort of helicopter perspective instead of actually walking up to clients in a systematic pattern.

What is your movement pattern during a class. Are you hovering around? Be honest to yourself? ( if you are a yeller you are most possibly also a ”hoverer” )

If you are a ”hoverer” and not a yeller you are most possibly not talking to anyone 😉

The point of this text is, we are a coaching facility. We have small groups in order to give people coaching and in order to distinguish ourselves from programs such as bodypump. If you don´t COACH then you ARE no different from bodypump instructors or indoor cycling instructors. We want much less yelling and shouting and much more talking. Have you ever tried telling a joke shouting for instance? That is weird…

Do this: record yourself coaching a class next week. Set up a camera. Watch the film afterwards and then start reflecting. Tell us what you saw and what you can do to improve.

Also do this: watch someone else coach a class. Is he/she mostly yelling or mostly talking? If you are standing on the sideline and listening in, how do you FEEL listening to a coach that is mostly yelling?

It´s great being a coach, so many possibilities to learn!



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