The normal cast of characters start to pour in for coach Rick’s 4 pm class at Tanya’s Country Store. As they trickle in the athletes work on warming up and mobilizing for the days class. The energy is good. Everyone sharing stories about their upcoming weekend plans, how sore they are from the previous days work and how they are glad that there is no air dyne written on the white board. A pretty normal pre class scene.
The clock rolls over to 4:00 and then the wheels start to wobble a bit. They don’t fly off, not yet, it starts with a wobble. “Alright it’s 4, everybody ready?” Coach Rick calls out. Three people jump up to go use the bathroom, two more run to their bags to chug the last of their pre-workout concoction and one person is left staring blankly at the whiteboard trying to figure out which part will be the hardest.
A few minutes pass, everyone returns and the class starts up. A little dynamic warm-up followed by some foundation work to get the body moving and to work out any kinks. When that is finished the coach calls everyone over to the white board to go over the first workout.
EMOM X 10:
12 R. SWINGS
5 GOBLET SQUATS
1 BURPEE BOX JUMP
Before the explanation can begin one of the athletes needs to check Instagram and another updates their facebook status. Two folks walk off and grab dumbells and a 16” box. This is where the classes wheels have begin to fly off. The chance of it turning into a complete shit show is almost guaranteed. Coach Nick, oops I mean Rick, stands at the white board full on mouth breathing and wide eyed trying to make sense of what he was seeing. “where did it all go wrong?” He thought. “If I wrote the workout on the white board and put a chicken up here to coach and explain it would they notice?” Then Coach Rick snaps out of it and begins to use his “OUTSIDE” voice. He rips into the people who walked off to grab dumbbells and calls out the IG and FB people. Some people laugh at being called out others think “damn I wish I had a chicken for a coach. We could chase him around the gym. Hell, if I caught him I could wring it’s neck and cook it up real nice. Mmmmmmmmmm chicken.”
Now that everyone is at the white board the workout is explained and the work begins. The rest of class goes beautifully. Everyone PR’s everything. Then, to celebrate they all go on the roof to look at a rainbow and sing “Lean On Me”.
OK, story time is over. The point I’m trying to make, other then highlighting some of my pet peeves, is that effective communication and understanding is vital for athletes and coaches.
For athletes, don’t assume that you know what the coach wants from just what they have written on the white board. Do they want you to use a heavy kettle bell? Do they want steady working pace or an all out sprint every round? All those questions and more are normally explained when everyone is at the white board. If something isn’t covered please ask. There are no stupid questions……….. Except the one where you ask something that was already covered and you didn’t hear it because you were talking about a hilarious cat video you saw on FB. That shit causes instant mouth breathing and the urge to shove a white board maker into my eye.
This next part is just for coaches, so if you are not a coach this where you stop reading. Bye thanks for reading the blog I hope you like it. Ok bye now...
...Alright coaches now that we are alone I’ve got something for us too. In the story I made the athletes out to be the assholes. Oh you grabbed dumbells hahahahahahahaha. I’m going to admit something since we are in the coaching trust tree. Sometimes I’m the asshole. Sometimes I take for granted when I’m coaching experienced athletes that I don’t need to go into a movement, lift, or workout. “Demo a deadlift for an athlete that’s been lifting with me for 3 years? He knows what he’s doing.” Then you watch some crap that he wanted to “try”. I know class size, experience level of the athletes and time limits will dictate what you can and can’t do. I’m just saying don’t assume everyone knows how to do a burpee. We can help people become healthier, stronger and live happier lives. And with better communication we can all help each other become less of an asshole.