Take Away the Good

As a coach, you always want to be guiding your athletes towards improvement. Whether the focus is heavy lifting, gymnastics movements, or even endurance training. The goal is to find that motivation to help your athletes find their inner confidence to be successful and perform at their very best.

How do we do this?

Criticism. The constructive kind. Our coaches are there to push you when you need the motivation and critique you when it is necessary. It is their job to be there to teach you how you can be better at everything.

Scenario Time! What if you have a pretty decent squat snatch, but each time you performed the movement, you jumped forward a few inches swinging the bar in front of you?

Scenario one involves your coach telling you how good and solid your lift is and completely ignoring the little issues and tweaks to avoid hurting your feelings. Scenario two would have the coach complementing what was done right and encouraging you to improve what can be better with your next lift. If that were me, I would prefer the latter.

There is a difference between telling an athlete that they are terrible at a movement and coaching them on ways to improve for the next time. Put it this way, you can show up to CrossFit each day and be completely ignored by the coaches or you can listen to the criticism in a positive way and develop a plan to get better. Even the coaches train and criticize each other because it is the best way to learn.

If a coach tells you to scale a weight so you can move more efficiently or perform the movement with better technique, it is probably because they know you as an athlete and are watching you move. The more you come to class, the more the coaches really get involved in what you are doing and your strengths and weaknesses. They really are there to help you and make you better. Taking 10 lbs off that jerk and landing in a completely locked out position overhead rather than pressing out will drill the movement into your muscle memory so you can continue to progress! If the coaches are paying attention to you, it is most likely a good thing!

Now that we know what it means, here is the harder part. How do you, as the athlete, take said advice? Well, for one, definitely don’t take it personally. The biggest problem is that you’ll think that the coach is targeting you. Instead, look at it objectively instead of taking it like a personal attack on you.  If you are unsure why they are giving you advice, ask! Why did you tell me to keep my chest up when I was deadlifting? Maybe the extra explanation will help you understand why! You are only going to make yourself better through positive changes. Focus on the things that will make you a better athlete and leave the gym with an optimistic attitude.