Coaching Challenge: Connecting = Trusting

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship… Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Brené Brown knows her stuff.

And every coach knows that we’re in the business of relationships.

We cannot push people to their thresholds and force them outside their comfort zones if they don’t trust us.

Trust requires connection, relationship.

So the first order of business is to connect with people more often.

Start with 3-5 people each class if you want to keep things simple.

Ask yourself, how can I make these 3-5 people feel more seen, heard and valued?

It’s a natural, in the moment thing.

Be where your feet are.

Fully engage in conversation.

Pause, take an extra moment to make eye contact and really coach someone.

Ask more questions. Listen carefully. With an open mind and heart.

Let them be vulnerable. Angry. Confused. Shy. Loud. Human.

Notice how truly connecting with someone makes you feel in your body.

How could connecting more make you feel differently about being a coach?

Coaching Challenge: Greet Your Clients

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

Every single time a client walks into your gym, you need to connect with them.

You need to look them in the eye, acknowledge them and say hi.

If they’re new, if they’ve been a member for three years, just say hi.

It seems like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to forget something so small when things are a little hectic at the gym.

Which is a bummer because this simple gesture breaks down barriers and helps people transition from the outside world (and whatever has happened in their day) to your gym.

For a community to thrive, people need to feel welcomed and acknowledged.

We all want to be noticed, to belong, for someone to care that we showed up.

Sure, we want that accountability, but we also want to connect.

We are social creatures who want that tribe, village, clan, fitness family, whatever you want to call it. We want it.

So make it your goal this week to greet every person that walks into your gym.

Give everyone the experience of belonging.

Coaching Challenge: You are a Performer

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

One of the skills that has been most useful to me as a coach is my history with performance.

I don’t mean workout performance.

I mean theatrical performance.

I studied musical theater and went to a high school where we all participated in multiple shows throughout the year. Pirates of Penzance. Into the Woods. I loooove it.

Transitioning from the stage to the front of a CrossFit class was totally natural.

I wish I could give that type of training to every coach with a snap of my finger.

For today, all I can offer is a reminder that when you walk through the doors of your facility, you need to have the mindset of a performer.

You are there to provide an experience.

You are there to serve.

Leave your problems outside.

Leave your bad mood, your excuses, your tiredness outside.

I’m not saying you can’t be human.

But you can’t chronically take away from the experience members are there to have.

That facility is a container, and you need to bring a certain energy to that space. From this hour to that hour, you are the absolute best version of yourself that you can currently offer.

What you might need is a ritual to help you transition from the outside world to the facility. Or, put differently, to help you get into character.

Maybe it’s a playlist while you drive. Maybe it’s a few minutes of breathing.

It’ll totally depend on whether you need to unwind or get pumped up.

My point is to have a few simple rituals on hand to help you transition from your everyday personality to your performer.

That’s this week’s challenge: A). Remember you’re a performer providing an experience; B). Try a few rituals to get into the right mood/mindset.⠀

Coaching Challenge: Respect Your Space

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

This week, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to treat the facility as though it’s your second home.

Not a disorganized, untidy second home.

But something you respect, a place you’d be really proud to show your loved ones.

This, of course, is pretty broad.

To reign it in, and make it measurable, we’re challenging you to look for things that are out of place as soon as you arrive at the facility.

As your greeting and mingling and settling in, look for things that need to be picked up or re-organized.

Maybe there’s trash on the floor.

Maybe someone didn’t put their equipment away, or they put it in the wrong place.

Maybe the bathroom is out of toilet paper.

Tidy things up as if your mother is coming over. Treat the place as if it’s yours.

Try to find at least 3 things every time you get there.

See. Notice. Do something about it.

This will not only show people that you care, but it’ll also remind people to respect the space. ⠀

Coaching Challenge: Faster or Slower?

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

Today, in every workout you coach, we want you to ask yourself: Should this person go faster or slower?

That’s it.

That’s your coaching drill.

Ask yourself that question with every person.

Do they need more intensity? Are they missing the stimulus of the workout? Are they resting during their weakness/deficiency so much that they’re missing the point of the workout? Speed ’em up.

Do they need to work on mechanics? Slow ’em down and cue ’em into better positions.

(Are they complaining that the workout wasn’t hard enough? Here’s an intensity test to try.)

Coaching Challenge: Make Contact

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

During today’s workout, as you cruise through the group, make sure you touch base with each and every person at least once.

You can make contact in a variety of ways.

Call them by name and give them a cue.

Walk up and watch them.

Make eye contact and encourage them to speed it up or push harder.

Check for safety, ROM issues, inefficient movement, if they’re going too fast/slow, and if they need motivation.

Just make contact in whatever way they need in the moment. With every person in the class. At least once.

To kick it up a notch, go for 3. Make contact at least 3 times with each and every person.

Good luck out there.⠀May the force be with you.

Coaching Challenge: High-Fives All Around

Pat Barber Coaching, Coaching Challenges

This week’s challenge is quick and easy.

At the end of every workout, we want you to high-five everyone in your immediate vicinity.

Give air high-fives to people across the room.

Tell them what a great job they did. Acknowledge their progress. Joke around. Have fun with it.

Celebrate their hard work, and give ’em a high-five.