The Open is over. For about 99.7% of the people who competed in the CrossFit Games competition, we are done.
Now what? The time to prepare for 2018 has already begun. The time to address your weakness is here. The time to become better is now.
The disappointment of your placement will fade. The fire in your belly will be extinguished shortly. Your plan needs to be implemented and carried out long after the rush you feel right now fades.
For 99% of you, you do not need fancy, elite programming. You do not need to get a different coach who will give you a “special” program that will get you to the next level.
You NEED consistency, you NEED honesty, and you NEED qualified and experienced coaching.
You don’t need to do what Rich is doing, or Mat, or Katrin, or Brooke. They aren’t doing what they did two years ago. Their program evolves as they do!
You need a coach who is capable of executing great CrossFit coaching.
The programming needs to be simple – couplets and triplets where you are in a range of mostly eight to 12-minute metcons. This is the (Paleo) bread and butter of CrossFit! Don’t believe me? Look at the most popular and painful CrossFit workouts.
Your coach needs to program effectively. Beating the shit out of you is easy. You need effective doses. This is where appropriate scaling and programming throughout the week comes in.
I always have an idea of what I want athletes to accomplish, however, I do not always know how they will react to some variables, what weather will be like, class attendance, and previous training volume.
I develop my training sessions the night before because of these variables. While some people may scoff at this because I should be writing 12-week cycles or monthly cycles or whatever they deem fit.
I adapt my programming to the athletes that utilize me as a coach. Not the other way around. What are you going to do if people get destroyed by a workout one day and the next day will only be worse because of what is on tap? What if there is crazy rain and you are running 800-meter repeats? What if you learn something new and want to implement it? This week, as a part of the warmup, we did three sets of 20 calf raises and three sets of 20 toe raises with different foot positions. I regularly program jump rope, foot drills, plate jumps, box jumps, bar jump overs, etc. I had multiple athletes complain of their extreme calf soreness. In fact, some were still sore come Wednesday when I programmed running. What if I programmed that 12 weeks prior and the next day called for double unders and running or jumping pullups? This was an unexpected variable and I needed to adapt my plan.
My job as a coach is to identify the areas of the athletes that need the greatest attention and bring up the weakest part. It’s kind of like the saying, “You are only as strong as your weakest link.”
This is why you will regularly carry objects, hang, do unilateral movements, and use odd objects. Training will always be more demanding than competitions. You fall to your level of training, not rise to your hopes.
We always work to create the most well-rounded athletes possible. Someone was asking me the other day about sleds. I said I have never owned sleds but in every competition, I have had athletes in we have excelled in the sled events. You do not need all of the equipment to be good; you need to be creative with what you have.
Find a good coach who can watch you and provide feedback. Find someone who is working to make you have less pain. (Soreness is different.) Find someone who gels with you. I am loud and sarcastic. This doesn’t work with everyone. Find someone who knows their shit.
Put in the work, especially when you don’t want to.
If you cannot be honest with yourself or your athletes about their needs and only work the things you like or that makes them feel good then how will you actually get better? It will not matter how many coaches you have, how much you spend, or what you do. You will find a reason as to why you are unsuccessful.
A coach cannot guarantee you anything.
All I can promise is my effort to give you the best information possible to make you better. You may not like what you hear. Trust me, no one likes being told they are bad at something. The obstacle is the way. What stands in the way is the way. If we do the hard thing, the rest becomes easier.
Time to get to work!