Before you start a coaching development program, answer these 3 questions.
We believe building better affiliates starts by building better coaches. But figuring out how to do that — how to take coaches from good to great — can be a rabbit hole.
Everyone wants to know how to turn good coaches into stellar coaches. People often ask us about coaching development and how to do it the most effectively. To that, we often respond that there’s no one right way to start or run a coaching development program. Building better coaches doesn’t happen as the result of one thing. It’s a combination of several ingredients, and a lot of hours, but exploring these questions can help get you on the right track:
- Do you have a clear company vision and value structure that all the coaches are aware of and have bought into? Your team should know and share your beliefs. Do they know why you opened a facility? Do the coaches share your ‘why’? The goal is to hire people who share your values, people who believe what you believe.
- Do your coaches coach the full hour? From warmup to skill work to cool down? Not just during the workout.
- Do your coaches use the same plan, or are they all making stuff up on the fly? Session plans make classes more consistent from coach-to-coach, and they make coaches step outside their defaults. As coaches and developers of coaches, we’ve seen firsthand how beneficial it can be to give coaches a detailed plan for the day.
We can help with #2 and #3.
Session planning is more than just programming.
Session plans are a complete template for coaching a class.
When you sign up with an online programming service, what you get is pretty barebones. Programming is typically a warmup and a workout. Sometimes the warmup is customized for the day, but that’s rare. As for the workout, most programs just include 2 levels/scales and they don’t give you anything more than that: two versions of the same workout.
Session plans are much more detailed. They include scales, substitutions, modifications, coaching tips and strategies, the “why” behind the workout and time breakdowns. In other words, each plan is a complete roadmap for how to coach a class.
Which brings us to the other major difference between session planning and programming: Session plans are a 2-in-1 solution because you get programming and a coaching development tool in one platform.
Session plans should be used as a coaching development tool.
It doesn’t matter if the coach is a lifer or part-timer, session plans will push them beyond their comfort zones and defaults.
We write session plans to be used as a coaching development tool. They are not just programming. They are study guides. As coaches read through the plans, they learn new ways to teach movements, they are forced beyond their comfort zones, they are stripped of their default substitutions and scales, they are challenged to coach differently.
We give coaches the focus of the day, the “why,” scales that preserve the stimulus, goals for each skill level, details, explanations, and briefs.
We also include a daily coaching video where Pat gives you his game plan for the day.
Here’s a sample coaching video to give you an idea of what you can expect:
You get one of these videos with every session plan.
Beyond daily videos, there is a section in most session plans titled ‘For Further Study,’ where we include CrossFit Journal articles and videos that are relevant to the session. So, if the session includes running, you’ll have additional material on breathing while running, running mobility, or something similar. The idea is to give coaches the resources they need if they want to go deeper.
Part-time coaches can skim the plans to quickly find scales and substitutions. They have everything written out for them — the warmup, etc. — so they don’t have to come up with anything on the fly. They can watch quick movement demo videos to make sure they’re coaching something correctly. They can use the template and then throw their personality into it to make it their own thing.
The more dedicated “lifer” coaches can do all of that and more. They can study the plans and use them as a learning device. We give them everything they need to geek out and get into the nitty-gritty of how we’d coach the day and why we programmed it the way we did. To give you an idea of how much information you get every day, one month of session plans will usually export to a 70 – 90 page PDF. On average, that’s about 2 – 3 pages per day.
Regardless of how much effort coaches put into it, both groups (part-timers and lifers) will get something out of using our session plans.
Your members do too. They get more consistency from class-to-class and coach-to-coach.
Get Two Weeks of Free Plans
We believe a non-biased program is the best way to improve your ability across all areas of fitness — speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, power, coordination, and so on. Would you like to know why we don’t follow the strength + metcon model or use biased programming? Read more…
Our Values and Beliefs
As coaches and coaching developers, we know that successful gyms are built on the backs of good coaches, who create amazing communities, so we want to support those ecosystems by giving coaches the tools they need to level-up their game. Read more…