Three Exercises to Screen Coaching Candidates For Good Potential

By September 25, 2018Box Development

Want to assess if a candidate or intern for a coaching position has what it takes to become a contributing member of your staff and your gym?

At Roots, we use these three exercises to screen candidates to see if they have a good baseline of capability, capacity, and an ability for the coaching profession. The exercises give us valuable insight and help us to pursue candidates that will be an excellent addition to our team. It also provides us with concrete reason and confidence to end the process with those who will not.

The exercises give us valuable insight and help us to pursue candidates that will be an excellent addition to our team. It also provides us with concrete reason and confidence to end the process with those who will not.

Below is an overview of each observation. You can also find a downloadable PDF of each exercise for use at your gym.

Observation 1 - Group Class Timeline and Observations

In Observation 1, the coach is instructed to keep a timeline of the class and write down any observations or questions that arise in the course of the hour. This exercise provides an initial assessment of basic skills including what they notice from a coach’s perspective, what sparks their curiosity as a coach, and the level of detail they pick up on in the class. Because this observation is written up and submitted via email, we also get a baseline of their writing skills, presentation, and ability to hit a deadline.

Observation 2 - Interactions vs. Cues

Observation 2 provides an initial assessment as to if the coach understands or notices the difference between general athlete/coach interactions and specific/direct cues (i.e., the stuff that makes the athlete better). Many coaches will shine at being personable and friendly, but when it comes to the concrete evidence that they understand what it means to coach, this exercise will give you your answer.

Over the course of the hour, the potential hire will record the number of general interactions (hello, how are you feeling, how was the workout?) and the number of direct cues given to athletes (push your knees out, sit lower, dip less deep). Coaches who understand what a cue or correction is will know what to record where. For coaches who do not understand the difference, you will find “good job,” “looks good,” or nothing in the direct cue column.

Observation 3 - Coach Empathy

Observation 3 provides insight into the coach’s ability to understand and relate to athletes that are outside of their specific demographic. As an example, if you are interviewing a 29-year-old male coach, you would have them select to observe a 40 something female athlete who is new to CrossFit.

In this exercise, the potential coach watches that athlete only and records their interactions with other members, their reactions to the information the coach delivers, the way in which they hear and digest information, and their overall work in class.

This exercise gives us insight as to if the coach will be able to relate to, understand, and work with a variety of athletes.

Application

After each observation, we meet with the candidate to review their work and discuss the questions they have about the class. This also lets us converse with the individual in the context of the profession.

Observations PDF Download

Want to use these observations for your next hire? Download the PDFs below.

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