A Lazy Coach

Pat Barber Coaching Development, Gym Management

When we see a coach doing the bare minimum, not cleaning the space, not really connecting with members, not being the best version of themselves, we see a coach who isn’t taking ownership of their role in the community.⠀

That coach doesn’t feel it’s their responsibility.⠀

That coach doesn’t feel at home in the facility.⠀

And that’s a problem.⠀

This exact scenario can often be traced back to 2 separate issues:⠀

  1. The coach doesn’t feel valued.⠀
  2. The coach doesn’t feel like they’re making an impact. (So nothing else really matters.)


Let’s break that down a little more.⠀

If a coach doesn’t feel valued, acknowledge them more. Show them some friggin love. Let them know why you’re stoked they’re on the team. Let them know that you noticed when they did such-and-such. ⠀

Check-in to make sure you share the same value system and priorities. If there’s conflict there, let them go so they can find a gym where they can thrive and love their work.⠀

If a coach doesn’t feel like what they’re doing is meaningful, or that they don’t personally have much of an impact, that’s often pretty easy to solve.⠀

Find out what they’re passionate about. Give them the space and creative control to bring that into the gym. Let them expand their influence. Let them take ownership. Are they super into obstacle races lately? Great. Let them bring something related to that to the table. Figure out what makes them feel alive and excited and super chatty. And then let them lead. Who knows, it just might set you apart from the box down the street.⠀

Create a text/email thread and share success stories, before and afters, etc., to remind everyone of what kind of an impact their making in people’s lives. Teams really need this sometimes. We can get bogged down by all the BS. ⠀

You might also try planning a few community events so that coaches and members can get to know each other a little better. Never underestimate the power of human connection.⠀

We’ve found that when coaches are acting ‘lazy’ laziness is rarely the problem. There’s something else going on. And it’s our job as leaders to figure out what that is.



About the Author
Pat Barber

Pat Barber

You might know me from the CrossFit Games, where I’ve competed since 2008, but I have also been the Head of Coaches Development for one of the largest CrossFits in the world. I have the honor of being one of the few L4 coaches, and I still love teaching L1s and L2s for CFHQ (I’ve put about 15,000 coaches through their L1’s). I'm husband to the most wonderful woman in the world, and a father who loves surfing, Magic: The Gathering, knife making and good coffee.

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