Pratt Exemplifies Great Coaching

shutterstock_207558043I’d like to take a minute to brag a little about the Coaches at the Box I currently frequent, CrossFit Bluegrass in Louisville, Kentucky. I understand quality Coaches, just like employees in any industry, can be difficult to find.

Somehow this Box has developed a culture of great coaching and has me continually examining them in terms of what I believe exemplifies a great Coach.

The class I attend regularly tends to have new members a few times a month — the late classes may have more, but I get my CrossFit fix earlier in the day. The first thing in my mind that makes a great Coach is how you handle new members.

Not all new members I witness are deconditioned — many simply haven’t been exposed to CrossFit. The great Coaches at CrossFit Bluegrass are good at making sure everyone understands the work we are doing that day. They ensure we are all set up and equipped with the weights and equipment we may need, but then they go directly to the new athlete.

They will stick close to the new athletes throughout the workout, instructing moves and guiding them through Olympic lifting progressions and pushing them through the MetCon.

A good Coach has the ability to do this successfully, but a great Coach has the ability to do this and make the potential member want to come back. Each Coach at CrossFit Bluegrass has this special skill. I’ve seen it from all of them at some point or another. However, Kelly Pratt, a tremendous CrossFit Masters competitor truly knows how to push the athletes as they progress, but also understands how to get people involved and psyched about returning.

On one hand I feel horrible about bragging about Pratt because there are so many other great Coaches in the Box, but over the past several months I have watched her with new members of all ages and athletic abilities. She continually works to get people stronger, faster and generally more focused on exercise.

This is what makes her a great Coach. Can she push members to their maximum ability? Of course, but she’s also quick to notice a struggling athlete that may need some more detailed coaching. I watched her coach a new member today through push jerks, split jerks and snatches, all in one session.

A great Coach has tremendous patience. They understand that difficult movements don’t come easily, they are quick to be able to modify workouts and they possess impeccable communication. Pratt owns all of these and more.

Exercising with a great Coach is more than just getting through a WOD for your members. Look around your Box this week. Do you have a Coach that truly sticks out in terms of member loyalty? Do their skills translate to athletes of all skill level, and do they have the patience and understanding to help you gain more members?

Remember, as an Affiliate your goal is to grow your membership, retain members and improve people’s lives. You may be 100 percent focused on this, but it’s vital that you put high quality Coaches in your Box that have the same mission and can execute as you would.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.