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June 05, 2019

As a CrossFit coach, you know that community is everything. Building trusting relationships with the people you see daily is essential for creating a successful box. Making sure that your members not only trust your 'talk' during class, but know that you’re also walking to the walk is essential to getting to the highest level of buy in from your athletes.

Here’s five easy ways to check yourself to make sure you’re sending the right message to your members:

1.    Follow your own programming.

We write programming for athletes with a goal in mind, whether that’s improving their gymnastics or increasing their cardiovascular capacity. If you never follow your own programming, you’re telling your members that the program isn’t good enough for you. If you never do the short, spicy workouts (ala Grace) because you hate them (and who doesn’t!?), it becomes difficult to encourage athletes to come on days when we work on their weaknesses. Plus, doing the programming with the athletes gives you a deeper connection as a coach to give them adequate scales and workout strategies, along with the ability to commiserate with them on occasion.

2.    Eat the way you want them to eat.

If you’re eating junk in front of your members, but telling them to eat Paleo, they will only be thinking, “If this works for my coach, it can work for me.” Nutrition is the very foundation of CrossFit methodology and should be the foundation of your health pyramid as well.

3.    Know your supplements.

If your gym carries supplements that they believe in, hopefully you believe in them too and you’re using them as your own. You probably already know that members are always curious about what you’re using and what you like best. Promoting the gym’s supplements and having a clear understanding on the contents not only provides members an easily accessible option to improve their health and fitness, but gives them a clear guidance on what to look for in supplements, even if they choose not to use the ones provided.

4.    Lead by example.

Approach your workouts the same way you want to your athletes to approach them. If you determine parameters for completing a workout Rx and want members to follow those guidelines, show them how. Completing workouts as prescribed simply because of your own ego or because you’re a coach shows athletes that it’s acceptable to do so, even if it means missing the intended stimulus. Scale yourself the same as you'd scale your members. Show them what it should look and feel like.

5.    Acknowledge mistakes and burnout.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in completing every WOD and never taking a rest day. It’s easy to let your ego get in the way every once in a while and slog through a workout. Acknowledge that rest is important and when you make a mistake for scaling. Your members will appreciate the trial and error process since they’re going through that same process themselves.

Show your athlete how to walk the walk in their own way, and they’ll stay loyal members of your community and your business.


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