Are You Coachable?
CrossFit, like all worthwhile pursuits, takes time and sustained effort to improve at. The athletic pedigree, injury history, genetics, and training background you bring to the table will certainly play a large role in the trajectory of your learning curve as well. No matter where you fall on the continuum of these parameters, the master key to long-term success is “coachability”. Why is coachability so important? Because of the impact it has on so many other attributes impacting your athletic development.
Coachability is the willingness to listen, be corrected, learn, and to act on that correction. The 2 variables that most determine your coachability as an athlete are effort and attitude. In any situation, you are always in control of these two things, and should strive to optimize them. Effort isn’t about the leaderboard or your score; it’s about working hard, embracing discomfort, and genuinely giving your best effort. Coaches notice and will always reward hard work and sweat equity in the weight room. Attitude is about staying positive, being open-minded when it comes to feedback, and willing to adjust your technique and approach in the pursuit of improved execution and performance. Being a coachable athlete ultimately is a choice you make that is determined by your mindset. In order to make the most of your time in the gym, you need to trust in the advice and judgment of your coaches, stay present and engaged, and work hard.
Inherent in the coach-athlete relationship is a division of labor: the coaches job is to coach, the athletes job is be an athlete and train. As coaches, we are concerned with the long-term development of the individual, from novice to seasoned CrossFit athlete. Getting good at CrossFit and all the various disciplines involved takes months and years, not days and weeks. There are no shortcuts to learning the nuances of kettlebell exercises, basic gymnastics, barbell lifts, etc., only countless repetitions. It is easy to fall prey to the idea that we are unique and able to skip the fundamentals, jump from the boring “basics” to the more novel complex lifts that they see more experienced athletes perform. The flaw in logic here is that they didn’t see the countless number of workouts the advanced athlete performed in order to earn the privilege to tackle the more advanced movements.
With all this in mind, it is essential that you play an active role in your pursuit of improved fitness, health, and development. As the Danish proverb goes, “he who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.” Ask questions, be inquisitive, experiment, and rely on the advice and guidance of individuals that are more experienced and accomplished than yourself in the areas you seek to improve upon. If you do that, and are willing to put in the work, success will take care of itself!