On average, Chennelle Miller, the co-owner of Raleigh CrossFit, said the cost of a certification is between $600 to $1,000, depending on the type. And that monetary pressure may be what prevents Coaches from pursuing additional certs.
But to Lindsey Marcelli, the owner of CrossFit Eminence in Thornton, Colorado, continuing education certifications are invaluable to her Box. “CrossFit is broad. You have gymnastics, you have weightlifting, you have cardio, rowing, running. If you could have Coaches that specialize in something, one of those modalities, it helps coach a broader audience,” said Marcelli.
She also recognizes there are many gyms for people to choose from. Marcelli believes if potential members see that Coaches are actively trying to get better through certifications, it helps build trust and solid communication between a Coach and the members.
Both Marcelli and Miller set aside money in their respective Boxes to help pay for their Coaches’ certifications. Not only does this take the financial pressure off the Coach, but Miller said it’s an investment in their future. “If you see yourself coaching for a long time, the more you can expose yourself to people who have been around the sport a lot longer than you have, the more [time] you spend putting yourself in front of those people, asking them questions and learning from them and their experiences, the better off you’re going to be as a Coach,” said Miller.
And Sean Wells, the owner of Oregon CrossFit, agreed. When he encourages his Coaches to pursue additional certifications, he tells them to first find something they want to learn more about. Then, for the second course, to find something they struggle with as an athlete or a Coach.
However, he recognizes that having a ton of certifications does not necessarily make for a good Coach. He believes there needs to be a mix of practical Coaching experience as well as “book knowledge.”
All three Coaches encourage their staff to look outside of typical CrossFit courses when researching continuing education opportunities. For example, Marcelli took a CrossFit Football seminar, which specializes in helping athletes in football. And Miller stated she wanted to take a life coaching course, because as a Coach, she interacts with her athletes on a personal level.
Even if a course seems boring to a Coach, or if a Coach learns just one or two additional pieces of information they can apply at the gym, Wells said it’s worth the money, time and travel.
“I’m always telling everyone that if you’re not evolving, you’re dying. And if you think you know everything, then you probably don’t and you probably should quit coaching,” Wells said. “Even if I didn’t learn a ton, if I picked up a couple things, it’s worthwhile to do.”
If it’s difficult to choose which certification to pursue next, Marcelli advised to evaluate what education pieces your Coaches are lacking. From there, fill in the holes to make sure your business is well-rounded in all modalities.