Just the other day we did a workout at CrossFit Roots that involved toes-to-bar and overhead squats. I coached the workout in the AM and then took group class later that day. One round into the workout and I knew my time was not going to be anywhere near the folks I usually hover with on the leaderboard. What the hell was going on!?
After finishing the workout a good 3 minutes slower than the women who are my athletic peers, I went and posted my score to SugarWOD. Yea sure, maybe I got a little squirmy about posting it - I am human! What will people think about me, what exactly happened there, is there an excuse I can chalk this up to, do I need to reevaluate my entire fitness protocol, and should I even post my score!? But while those small voices chattered in my head, I went ahead and clicked post - and then I went on with my day.
As coaches, we have a big responsibility and an opportunity to model the behavior we want to see in our athletes. The same thoughts I listed above go through our athletes’ heads yet we expect them to post their scores - and without question.
Every day, your coaches have the opportunity to model this behavior, this code, and help you develop a set of athletes who understand that the effort is far more important than the result and that the information collected is part of the process.
While there is no written coach or athlete code on how to post to SugarWOD, I believe that coaches need to post their scores. It's part of being an athlete, it fuels longterm development, identifies weaknesses and it sets the example that score recording is not just for instances when you’re proud of your accomplishment or feel you’ll get lots of praise.
Why Do You Post to SugarWOD?
Do you post to SugarWOD to track your progress, celebrate the accomplishments of others, and stay tied to the community of athletes you train with? Or do you post your scores only when you are happy with your performance and feel you’ll get a ton of fist bumps? Most importantly, do you not report your scores when you don't like the number you put up?
If this is what your coaches do, this is the same behavior you will get out of your athletes. What develops is an inauthentic relationship with athletic progress, hard work, success, and yes, failure.
If You’re Going to Play the Game, You Have to Play it Every. Day.
If you decide to be part of the community of athletes that post their scores, you have to do it every day - whether you are proud of your score, disappointed in it, did it Rx, scaled, were first on the leaderboard, last on the leaderboard, you get the point.
Every day, your coaches have the opportunity to model this behavior, this code, and help you develop a set of athletes who understand that the effort is far more important than the result and that the information collected is part of the process
It shows a level of staff maturity when your team can post their scores with confidence and independent of their placing. Let’s look at how that plays out in the eyes of your members with a few different coach examples.
Coach #1: This coach is a 36-year-old female who does one workout a day. Back in 2012 she competed on a regionals team and has since blossomed into an outdoor enthusiast - rocking climbing, skiing, and mountain biking almost every weekend. She uses CrossFit to fuel these endeavors. She can do many workouts Rx but also scales workouts weekly.
Athlete Teaching Point: Athletes see that a top-level female athlete in the gym will still scale workouts as needed to achieve the intended stimulus of the workout and takes direction from the coaching staff when she’s in class. When she posts her score, athletes see her name in the Scaled category and develop an appreciation for her that extends beyond her absolute capacity in the gym.
Coach #2: This coach is a 44-year-old male with two kids who does just one workout a day. He’s never been super competitive but can hold his own in the CrossFit space and has helped countless athletes achieve levels of fitness that have now grown well beyond his. His athletic capacities are well-rounded and he has a healthy balance between Rx and Scaled workouts.
Athlete Teaching Point: Athletes see an example of what success looks like for a fit father of two who owns a gym and manages a ton behind the scenes. When he posts his score and is not first on the Scoreboard, it shows that he can check his ego at the door and put himself out there in front of his peers.
Coach #3: This coach is 28 years old, and he recently suffered two major injuries six months apart - a torn Achilles and a ruptured biceps. The kid that once threw down for multiple workouts in a day with aggressive goals now walks into group class with a crutch and leans on the coach for various scaling options.
Athlete Teaching Point: Clients see a constant reminder of an athlete who did not let ego override his commitment to posting his score. Over the course of a year, the athlete scaled or modified almost every workout, often being last on the Scoreboard, yet he posted his score for every workout. Athletes see an example of a coach continuing to come to class when they’re injured and logging their progress. Because of the coach's detailed workout notes, the athletes see a real example of what modifying for injury can look like.
Building a great community has many threads. A coaching staff that attends group class and always posts their scores to SugarWOD helps foster a mature, focused, and cohesive community.
Download the full "Lessons for the Coaches at the Gym" eBook here.