What would you say sets CrossFit apart from other fitness programs? Many would attribute it to the community, and perhaps you would agree. However, the word ‘community’ is quite general, and doesn’t quite capture the actual environment of a gym. After all, any group of people with a common interest technically qualifies as a community. At WCFM us coaches are always striving to foster a team atmosphere in our classes, and we regularly discuss how to better accomplish that.
The tricky part is actually quantifying what all goes into cultivating a team oriented environment. You know it when you feel it, but identifying the individual pieces is rather difficult. The truth is that our atmosphere rests on all of those participating, coaches and athletes alike. Oftentimes, athletes play just as large a role in setting the tone for class as coaches do, if not more so. All of you are to be commended for your part in making our gym a fun and welcoming place to work out! Be assured that it doesn’t go unnoticed and is very much appreciated not only by those who are just starting, but also those who have been CrossFitting for years.
Here are a few things that we as coaches work on to make each class as enjoyable as we can for everyone:
Socialize. As coaches, we enjoy having some pre workout chit chat with our members because it lets us get to know how they are doing and fills our human need for social interaction. A group of people who are genuinely interested in one another makes for a class experience that is both more fun and meaningful for everyone. So chit chat! Just not during our white board briefings. 😉
Be Positive. Everyone’s attitude contributes to the energy of class, whether positive or negative. That’s why we as coaches do our best to present each workout in a positive way. We don’t shy away from the fact that training is hard work, but we are confident that each and every member can rise to the occasion and get an effective workout that is appropriate for their fitness level. As an athlete, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that a WOD will be challenging, but be careful that the sentiment doesn’t become, “I’m not going to do well.” Negative talk, and even negative self talk, has an influence on others and can make newer members feel even more nervous than they may already be.
Leave No One Behind. No doubt one of the coolest things is hearing others cheer your name just as you’re struggling to push through the final reps of a workout; it’s arguably when we need our fellow CrossFitters the most. People who are invested not only in their own success, but also the success of others is what makes CrossFit what it is today. It is very common for our more experienced athletes to finish workouts before newer athletes. Before you clean up your equipment, why not take the time to be by your teammate’s side and encourage them while they finish their workout? It makes a big difference, especially to those who are just starting their fitness journey and who may be worried that they’ll be the weakest link in class. If you put forth the effort to lift up others, be assured that it won’t go unnoticed!
The gym consists of coaches and athletes, but everyone can be a leader. We as coaches thank all of you for having a team mentality and doing your part to make our class atmosphere a great one. Keep up the good work!