At CrossFit Stevens Point in Plover, Wisconsin, future coaching candidates are offered a sponsorship fee that covers half the cost of their Level 1 certificate. And if the coaching trainee agrees to a six-month contract of coaching responsibilities at the Box, he or she can redeem the rest of the course’s cost.
Upon completion of their Level 1 Seminar, Coaches at CrossFit Stevens Point will be introduced to the class environment at the gym through the Coaches Training Program.
“We require new Coaches to shadow two weeks of classes before they can experience running a class on an individual level,” said Alex Rolfs, the Box’s lead Coach and manager. “This way, they can understand how to conduct an efficient class in multiple different situations.”
After shadowing, the Coach is introduced to the community through the Box’s website and social media. “We want our members to be aware of any additions to our staff and learn about the individual on a more personal level,” said Rolfs. Then Coaches will begin teaching three classes a week.
Finally, they will be assessed and evaluated on performance. “We can assess what we think Coaches do well and what they may need to improve on,” said Rolfs. “Any problems, questions or concerns are addressed between Coaches through individual and team meetings on a regular basis.”
Currently, nine Coaches are on staff at the Affiliate, and two are enrolled in the training program. Rolfs explained the program develops Coaches into a comfortable role and niche before they begin training members. “Our goal with the Coaches program is to develop outstanding individuals that our community can connect [with] and learn something from,” he said.
Overall, Rolfs said the benefits of having a training program are “second to none.” He explained the community feedback has shown members are comfortable with their Coaches. Plus, the retention rates of the training staff have been high since the program was implemented at CrossFit Stevens Point.
Rolfs also explained there are benefits that were not originally expected. “We get high-level, highly motivated Coaches that bring the most out of everyone,” he said. “It is a competitive environment, not just among athletes, but Coaches as well. We all want to find new and exciting ways to make the business, simply put, better. Competition is certainly a driving force that keeps energy and moral up, even among Coaches.”
Rolfs stressed the importance of making a Coaches Training Program specific to his or her gym. However, developing a program that has clarity and specific identity roles for each Coach is a must. “As always assess, evaluate and make changes as needed to your training program, so your business and community around you understand you care,” he said. “Our Coaches Training Program works well for our community right now, but you can bet we will be ready for any necessary changes to further develop our own coaching staff down the road.”