620. The Journey of a CrossFit Coach: From Level 1 to Lifelong Learning

Jul 18, 2023


The Journey of a CrossFit Coach: From Level 1 to Lifelong Learning


In this comprehensive article, we embark on a journey into the world of CrossFit coaching. Starting from the Level 1 seminar, we delve into the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and coaching excellence. Along the way, we explore the significance of feedback, the art of coaching, and the importance of continuous education. This article aims to provide valuable insights for both aspiring and experienced coaches in the CrossFit community.

The Giving and Receiving of Feedback

Feedback is a crucial aspect of coaching, playing a central role in the development of both coaches and athletes. As we uncover the essence of effective coaching in this article, we understand that feedback is an opportunity for growth and improvement. The art of coaching lies in the ability to interact effectively with athletes, understanding their individual needs. Feedback serves as a guiding light, helping coaches navigate the subjective aspects of coaching, from managing a group to addressing athlete concerns and providing tailored guidance.

The Level 1 Seminar: Just the Beginning

While the Level 1 seminar is often seen as the starting point for aspiring CrossFit coaches, it is crucial to recognize that it merely lays the foundation for a lifelong coaching journey. This seminar provides the necessary framework and theoretical concepts, emphasizing the importance of further education and specialized courses. The Level 1 certification acts as a stepping stone, encouraging coaches to continuously expand their knowledge and seek out opportunities for growth beyond the initial certification.

The Credential Pipeline and Pursuit of Knowledge

Recognizing the need for continuous learning and improvement in coaching, the CrossFit community is introducing changes to the credential pipeline. These changes highlight the importance of ongoing education and the pursuit of knowledge. Coaches are encouraged to engage in various courses, both within and outside of CrossFit, to broaden their skill set. This article reminds coaches to view every course, regardless of the topic, as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Balancing Coaching Styles for Different Members

One of the challenges coaches face is finding the right balance between coaching intensity and meeting the needs of different members. Every athlete has their own threshold when it comes to coaching intensity, and effective coaching involves understanding and adapting to individual needs. Pacing, effective communication, and tailored coaching styles play a pivotal role in successful coaching. This article explores strategies to strike the delicate balance between providing appropriate guidance without overwhelming athletes.

Recommended Books for Coaching Development

To further enrich coaching development, the article presents a selection of recommended books. These literary gems offer valuable insights for aspiring and experienced coaches alike:

  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie: Focuses on effective communication and building positive relationships, crucial skills for coaches.
  • "Obstacles Away" by Ryan Holiday: Explores strategies for overcoming obstacles and developing resilience, benefiting coaches in their professional journey.
  • "Legacy" by James Kerr: Examines the importance of teamwork and leadership, offering valuable lessons for coaches in creating a cohesive and successful training environment.
  • "Managing Oneself" by Peter F. Drucker: Emphasizes self-awareness, personal growth, and leveraging strengths, all of which are relevant to coaching development.

The Importance of Continuous Learning and Development in Coaching


Continuous learning and development are vital for coaches to remain relevant and effective in their roles. This section of the article explores the significance of ongoing learning and provides recommendations for coaches to expand their expertise.

Broadening Horizons with Books and Articles

Reading a variety of books and articles written by multiple authors can provide valuable insights into coaching. Works like the Harvard Book Review offer a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. "Talk Like Ted" is another fascinating book, particularly beneficial for those involved in public speaking. Additionally, Dr. Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages" and Brené Brown's publications, such as "Daring Greatly" and "The Gifts of Imperfection," offer valuable insights into human interactions and relationships.

Revisiting Essential Resources

For coaches who have completed their Level 1 certification, periodically revisiting key resources is essential. This includes going back to articles or seminar materials that cover foundational concepts. By rereading these resources, coaches can reinforce their understanding and apply the knowledge to their coaching practice.

Understanding the Risks in Training

To ensure the safety and well-being of athletes, coaches must stay informed about potential risks in training. Rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo), a condition that can occur due to intense physical exertion, requires coaches to be aware of its factors and symptoms. An article discussing responsible training practices and the risks of rhabdo serves as a valuable reminder to approach training with caution, considering individual factors such as experience, age, and sex.

The Importance of Learning from Experienced Coaches

Observing and learning from experienced coaches is a valuable practice for professional growth. By watching others in action and adopting effective techniques, coaches can enhance their coaching abilities. This approach allows coaches to gain insights into different coaching styles, learn new strategies, and continuously improve their skills. Additionally, self-reflection through videotaping coaching sessions provides valuable feedback and opportunities for self-improvement.

Pursuing Further Education and Credentials

Continuing education is crucial for coaches who aim to deepen their knowledge and expand their credentials. While the CrossFit Level 1 course is foundational, coaches should consider pursuing additional courses and certifications to enhance their expertise. This may include specialized courses in powerlifting, gymnastics, kettlebell training, or nutrition. Exploring a variety of educational opportunities allows coaches to broaden their knowledge and offer more comprehensive support to their athletes.

The Evolution of Coaching

The coaching journey is a continuous process of learning, experimenting, and refining one's skills. Coaches should embrace the opportunity to evolve and adapt to new ideas, methodologies, and research. Seeking information from various sources and staying up to date with the latest developments in the field ensures that coaching practices align with current best practices.

The Role of Physical Education in Schools: An Examination of Current Challenges and Potential Solutions


Physical education (PE) plays a vital role in the overall development and well-being of students. However, many schools face significant challenges in integrating PE into their curriculum. This section of the article explores the current state of PE in schools, discusses barriers to implementation, and explores potential solutions to overcome these challenges.

The Broken Education System

The education system encounters numerous obstacles that hinder the inclusion of PE in school curricula. Administrative factors and a lack of emphasis on physical and mental health pose significant challenges. While some schools proactively prioritize PE, the majority struggle to give it the attention it deserves.

The Role of Private and Charter Schools

Private and charter schools often lead the way in prioritizing physical and mental health within their curricula. These institutions have the autonomy to make decisions based on student well-being, making the inclusion of PE more likely. However, these practices are not yet widespread throughout the education system.

The Diminishing Hope for the Education System

Given the current state of the education system, many individuals have lost hope for significant improvements. Systemic challenges and administrative barriers make it difficult to bring about meaningful changes in the integration of PE in schools.

Personal Experiences and Nostalgia

Engaging in physical activities during school years creates lasting memories for many individuals. Activities such as badminton, jump rope, and various sports not only promote physical fitness but also foster social interactions and personal growth.

The Potential of Physical Education as a Career

While some individuals consider pursuing a career in physical education, the challenges and demands of the profession require specific skills and a genuine passion for teaching. CrossFit and other fitness modalities can serve as alternatives to traditional PE, providing opportunities for individuals to stay active and engaged.

The Value of Specialty Seminars for Coaches

Specialty seminars offer valuable knowledge and skills for coaches and affiliate owners. Coaches can choose seminars based on their specific needs and areas of improvement. Popular options include gymnastics, weightlifting, aerobic capacity, and adaptive courses. These seminars provide coaches with the tools to enhance their coaching abilities and broaden their skill sets.

The Importance of Business Education for Affiliates

While the Level 1 seminar is essential for coaches, it does not provide comprehensive business education for affiliate owners. External resources, such as the Affiliate University offered by Best Hour of Their Day, focus on teaching affiliate owners the necessary business skills to run a successful gym. CrossFit is dedicated to utilizing the full spectrum of knowledge in the ecosystem to support affiliate owners and raise the overall standard of affiliates.

The Ethical Boundaries of Coach-Athlete Relationships

Approaching coach-athlete relationships with caution and ethical considerations is crucial. Coaches should establish boundaries and ensure that their involvement in athletes' lives is beneficial and within the scope of their expertise. While building strong relationships within the gym community is important, it is crucial to recognize the limits and potential risks involved.

Addressing Inappropriate Coach-Athlete Relationships

Instances of inappropriate relationships between coaches and athletes are unfortunate and can have serious consequences. To prevent such situations from occurring, each affiliate should establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding coach-athlete relationships. Prioritizing the well-being and safety of athletes and maintaining a professional environment within the gym is essential.


Physical education is an integral part of a comprehensive education system that prioritizes the holistic development of students. Despite the challenges and barriers faced by schools, advocating for the inclusion of PE in curricula is crucial. By recognizing the value of physical and mental health and investing in professional development opportunities for coaches and affiliate owners, we can work towards a future where physical education is prioritized and celebrated in all educational institutions.


Jason Ackerman, CF-L4, and Jason Fernandez, CF-L3, are Affiliate Owners and CrossFit Seminar Staff Members dedicated to the pursuit of helping Affiliate Owners and Coaches alike become the best in the world at what they do.


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