The CrossFit L1 Cert Doesn’t Make You a Coach (from

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Reads for thoughts!

Here’s what usually happens. You begin CrossFitting and shortly thereafter, begin to consider getting your L1. You start to think about how you would coach. You start planning your warm ups, in your head, and start creating WODs. You know just how fantastic a coach you are going to be. You are going to set the world on fire with never-before-seen novelty workouts that will blow your clients’ minds!

Then that fateful day comes, after you have passed your cert and begun covering classes in your local box, when you start getting the inevitable questions. “Can you watch my snatch and tell me what you see?” “Can you show me the best way to set up for a deadlift?” You watch a student failing a clean repeatedly, but you’re just not sure how to help them fix it because you can’t spot what they are doing wrong. The bottom line is that you are no more qualified to coach on the Monday after your cert than you were going in.

How do I know this? Simple – because I was the world’s shittiest CrossFit coach for easily two years.

I got my L1 in May of 2010, and promptly began coaching classes at my box. The problem is, I knew next to nothing. Sure, I was one of the best CrossFitters in the box at the time, but that did not mean I knew anything about exercise physiology, energy systems, programming, technical aspects of lifts, kinesiology, or nutrition. I could kip but was clueless as to how to teach it. I could do double unders, but had no idea how to show others. (“Just jump once and swing twice. Got it?”)

When I think of some of the cues I used to coach people, I literally cringe. I had a couple of coaching cues on cleans that are so embarrassing I won’t even mention them here, but suffice to say, they have nothing to do with executing a proper clean.

Read the entire blog post by Patrick McCarty here:


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