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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 03-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
Steve Loeding
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setting up a new affiliate

After reading several threads, it appears that most people believe that Affiliate starters should have a Cert 2 minimum. Yet, when I look at many of the different affiliate homepages, I see quite a few successful affiliates that are run by those with only Level 1 certification. I understand the issue of too much of a good thing (too many crossfit affiliates) isn't good for crossfit. Do you believe that it's possible for someone who wants to start an affiliate holding a level 1 to be successful and give the clients the proper training ? Or would it be better to wait and attend more certifications (barbell / olympic) ? And if one was starting in a garage (popular way to start) would a level 1 cert be ok to start with, and then work up from there ?
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
Todd Lynch
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Certs are fantastic and I learn new things EVERY time I go. Whether it be a repeat of a Level I or a new specialty cert. They definitely give me more "tools" and techniques for teaching and coaching clients. That being said, I think what gives you the most improvement and growth in coaching clients is...... COACHING clients!
Do I think it is important to continue your education and certification? Absolutely. Do I think you need to have a Level II and a ton of Specialty certs to get started? Absolutely Not. They (HQ Staff) don't even suggest you attempt to obtain your Level II until you have a minimum of 6 months coaching individuals in the movements.
It has been said over and over again, start small with one on ones and grow from there.

Just my $.02
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Steve a level 1 is all you NEED to start coaching. I think it boils down to prior experience, how well you learn things and what your going to teach.

For example if youve never crossfitted and go to a level 1 cert and then open a box the next day, you probably will haev a hard time.

If youve been crossfitting for a while, have a solid idea of crossfit. Are proficient with the lifts and attend a lvl 1 theres no reason you cant train people. Lets say you cant snatch, so what. Don't teach people to snatch.

I think the only problem you can have is pretending you know something that you dont. Don't try and coach people in things that you cannot coach properly. If you know the intricacies of the lifts, all you NEED to affiliate is lvl 1
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
Greg Major
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Steve, if you have to ask if you could be successful you're probably ready. I don't intend this in a mean spirited way. I think if you're going to open a box you should feel like "hell ya I'm going to successful". If you're confident in your ability to coach and passionate about helping others achieve goals they thought were impossible then open up as soon as you can.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
Jordan Wright
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Quote:
I think what gives you the most improvement and growth in coaching clients is...... COACHING clients!
I have to agree with Todd. Coaching and becoming familiar with the skills is way more important than a level 2 certification. Don't get me wrong I fully intend at some point to get my own level 2 certification. There is always something to be learned from everyone in this industry. Other coaches develop new tricks to teaching clients all the time.

Initially, train yourself in the movement. Once you feel confident in what you are doing then train a friend or a client in the movement. I read about 2 hours a day just reviewing articles from the journal, along with other published material. Knowledge is power and I find the more knowledgeable you are the better you serve your clients. Hell I know more about sports related injury and rehab than most PhD doctors. Doctor = 7+ years of post secondary edu, I have 2 years of college and 3+ years in the fitness industry experience. Doesn't mean I am smarter than the doctor just means I research the related field where they don't. I am sure they know way more about pathology of diseases than I would ever want to know. Summary point, the more you know the better off you are as a trainer, the better your clients are severed.

I have taken an "advanced barbell" course offered here in Ottawa by an affiliate. It wasn't the official Olympic Lifting cert. It was really well done and the two coaches have both competed in power lifting and Olympic lifting for years. I feel way more confident in teaching friends and current clients about power lifts (Bench, Squat, Dead lift) and Olympic lifts (Snatch, Clean & Jerk), than I ever did before. I know I will probably have to spend the next year just refining my own technique in these lifts. Doesn't mean I can't teach the basics to clients. I already do to my boot camp clients and that's a group of 12.

I know when I go to open up my own box, hopefully this fall. I will probably hire/contract other coaches to run seminars to help my clients out with these types of lifts. Oboma, I think said it best. "I am not an expert at economics but I am learning and accept the challenge of solving this economic crisis". Don't quote me on that line but I recall him saying something along those lines. He has experts just like CEO's of major companies have experts.

In the end it's all about the rapport you have with your clients. If they respect you because you are care about them thatís all you need. I have seen many a Personal Trainer / Coach fail because they had no little rapport or communication abilities with their clients. These were highly qualified people some with Master degrees in Human Kinetics, they just couldn't relate with their clients. It's a service industry become the master of your PR abilities.

Hope this helps. Sorry if it dragged on a little.

Cheers Jordan
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

I just got my Level I last year and don't have any experience as a trainer at an affiliate yet, but I think this posting sums it up pretty nicely http://www.crossfitoahu.com/blog.php...48cf7efc37f8d5 WFS

I've worked out at gyms where the Level II or Level III-certified trainers showed zero interest in teaching and correcting technique and did nothing aside from yell "3-2-1 GO" and start their stopwatch, and I've seen coaches fresh off their Level I cert who are all over the place in a group class helping people make huge strides in their form. I think if you know and can teach the basics, have a genuine interest in helping people get better, and can run a class with enthusiasm, you'll be well on your way. If you're a good coach and get people results, you'll have clients regardless of what level cert you've got.

I like Jordan's idea of having specialists to teach stuff outside the things you're comfortable with...in a perfect world your primary trainers would run normal group WODs while you had an RKC-certified kettlebell guy, a Coach B-trained Oly coach, a gymnastics trainer, and so on to teach specialty classes.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:41 AM   #7
Paul Oddi
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Aaaah! The age old debate of performance versus experience. Does a coach need to be a champion or former champion to be a good coach? Does a CrossFit coach need to be the fitest person at the gym? Do only those that can perform all the CrossFit exercises be a good coach?

Is it the coach's Fran time that is important or the Fran times of his/her students?

I like the example of Angelo Dundee, world famous Boxing cornerman. He was reponsponsible for helping produce some of the worlds finest boxer" Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jose Napoles, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio and Luis Rodriguez. But Angelo himself never stepped into the ring.

How many former NBA, NFL ro NHL players are actually coaches, or rather good coaches? A great many more coaches are not champions themselves. Most championship teams or World champions Boxers, MMA fighter are themselves not coached by former champions.

Of course there are exceptions. It is now much more common to see former champions/olympians turning to coaching after their competitive careers, but the vast majority of coaches aren't.

In my own case, when I started having competitive athletes on the combat sports side of my business a lot of coaches with more experience looked down on me because of their view I was less experienced then them hadn't competed myself. What did I know? In the last few years we have produced a number of provincial and national champions, our athletes win a great number of their bouts, and have beat quite a few of the atheletes of those coaches.

Everyone starts somewhere, even inexperienced coaches. I challenge every coach out their to remember their first experiences, when they first started and not talk down to newer coaches because they have more experience than them, or they just got their level 1 and haven't been a CrossFitter for long, but opened up their own affiliate. The people that your looking down on could eventually turn out to be some of the best coaches around.

To all the new Level 1 people, like yourself, don't feel discouraged by the opinions of those who say your inexperienced, and haven't been around long enough. Ignore them. They forget that at some point they were new too.
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Last edited by Paul Oddi : 03-30-2009 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:30 AM   #8
Erik Preston
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Ditto on all the conversations about Level 2 vs Level 1.

Things I've learned from my experience--consisting of Eureka moments, false starts, ego checks, and the like:

Highly suggest working off of your Level 1, and attending another Level 1 cert and really paying attention to the style and methodology of coaching in the Group environment. I stress GROUP environment.

Coming from a background in our affiliate where our Elements sessions are largely one-on-one, it is vital that you hone your ability to coach multiple lines of action at once, be able to diagnose faults, provide remedies that might work for one and not another, and have a clear, commanding presence that comes natural and not forced.

Most of all, having a commitment to achieving virtuosity with each and every client, and never ever giving up ground on the basics of the movements (heels on the squat, lockout on the push press, mechanics and consistency). Always be scanning for faults and remedies in your group WOD's. Be firm, fair and consistent--and jovial.

Committing to these foundations + time with groups will arm you for the Level 2 Certification, and even then, you have to approach the Cert with the expectation that this will be an experience where the top HQ trainers expose the chinks in your coaching armor, so swallow your pride, focus not on "will I receive a Level 2 Certificate?" and soak in the training techniques. MOST ATTENDEES FAIL THEIR FIRST LEVEL 2. Good personal trainers, well respected in their box, but not fully honed on the Group Level Training experience.

Humbly submitted...
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
Sam Ser
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Oddi View Post
How many former NBA, NFL ro NHL players are actually coaches, or rather good coaches?
tom landry, mike ditka and tony dungy played before they coached.

but so did art shell, so...

a lot of the successful former nfl players-turned-coaches are position coaches or assistant coaches.

if i remember correctly, most of the former nba players who became coaches have been pretty bad it.

HOWEVER, coaches who can show that they can do what they demand of their athletes have MUCH more credibility than those who can't. when mike singletary (coach of the 49ers) talks about playing with passion, everyone knows he's legit. when nolan ryan talks to pitchers, you can bet they listen.

now, that doesn't mean that those without that experience can't be really good coaches. it just means that they have to overcome that "yeah, what do you know?" issue at the outset.

Last edited by Sam Ser : 04-02-2009 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:03 AM   #10
Paul Oddi
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Re: setting up a new affiliate

Da Bears! Sorry. Someone had to say it.

The main point of my post was to address the talking down to new affiliates and level 1 coaches by some of the more experiences coaches I have seen on the board since joining.

The CrossFit community is generally very supportive of each other, but this is one area where I've seen some lack of respect towards newbies. Shame! Shame!
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