The Focal Point: Coach Specialization in Education

Specialization in education.

Being a Coach is a hard job. Staying on top of your game is a must, which is why continuing education is vital to the success of Coaches.

JoAnna Dettmann, the co-owner of CrossFit St. Louis, said that they try to keep Coaches specialized in particular areas, or concepts, of CrossFit. “At CrossFit St. Louis we have focuses,” she explained.

The Coaches also have a certain area they are looking to improve. “One of my Coaches went to Boston for a coaching seminar, also with how to run a gym,” said Dettmann. “We got to learn a lot about that different kind of stuff.”

What’s important for Dettmann is having specialists on staff to help the certain areas of her gym, including nutrition, competition and all other aspects. She used The Cheesecake Factory as an example, saying that there is no way its chefs can perform everything on all 14 pages of the recipe book well. “I would rather go somewhere, go to a class where this person specializes on this stuff, versus going somewhere where they’re kind of good at it,” she said.

In addition to the Level 1 and Level 2 CrossFit certificates, Dettmann has her Coaches explore additional education that will help them in their chosen specialty. However, CrossFit St. Louis doesn’t expect its Coaches to continually strive for greatness out of their own pockets. “Typically they come to us and ask if they can go get it,” explained Dettmann. “We’re all for it. I like to spend my money on educating and keeping up with [the] latest and greatest thing.”

In terms of a budget, it’s CrossFit St. Louis’ goal for 2015 to designate a specific number to furthering education. “So we can make it fair, but definitely say we are going to give X amount of dollars … for our trainers per year to continue their education,” said Dettmann.

In addition to further education, CrossFit St. Louis has a trainer summit that it will hold twice a year to bring business and fitness education in-house. These seminars will cover the good, the bad and the greatness that occurs at the Box, and how the team can improve. “We’ve done two of them,” she said. “We get all of our trainers together … it was almost more corporate like, where you do a lot of team-building work. It was interesting to get them out of their CrossFit world.”

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.