An unaffiliated coach's perspective on assisting CrossFit athletes, within the confines of their respective discipline
Regardless of what most coaches will tell you, the onset of CrossFit has placed more barbells and pull-up bars into the hands of the general population than any other fitness entity to date. After a decade of WODs, the CrossFit community has survived the litmus test of endurance in the fitness and business world. With that being said, however you feel about the structure, layout and application of their particular practice, means little in respect to their success. I have adopted a mindset of support over condemnation, simply because as a fitness enthusiast and business owner, it makes more sense to work alongside the framework of their sport while still being conscious of long term methodology via strength and conditioning.
Also, in my experience, we have as much to learn from them as they do from us. It boils down to everyone agreeing that fitness and working out is potentially one of life’s greatest outlets. Now that we are done singing and holding each others calloused hands, how do we bridge the gap?
Simple - reach out to local CrossFit affiliates and coaches, and extend an offer to collaborate via your specialization. The specificity of individualized coaching can be really beneficial to certain CrossFit facilities, based solely on available equipment (Strongman implements, specialty bars, competition style kettlebells or calibrated plates for powerlifting). If you have these resources, it can provide an entirely different training stimulus, and perhaps overcome certain technical aspects to lifts or segments of challenging workouts. With the onset of the CrossFit games, the showmanship aspect of odd objects being integrated as challenges provides the opportunity for certain facilities to become allies for information. In addition, it provides the opportunity for knowledge to be spread positively and safely under the watchful eye of a professional, rather than the haphazard instruction of YouTube from someone who has tried it one time before. In my experience, there is no threat to divulge information to any other training facility outside of your own, simply because if you provide adequate service, you stand to gain plenty of referral business as a byproduct. Plus, you actually get a chance to work with highly motivated individuals who adhere to programming quite effectively. With the diversity of the sport and an endless combination of strength and conditioning protocols, it is pretty easy to assist in a detail oriented manner to overcome the stigma of sloppy hodgepodge of olympic lifting, gymnastics and burpees, which has tainted the reputation of CrossFit in general. Seek out some legit facilities, do your homework about their programming, and see where you may offer some guidance. Worst case scenario, you prevent an injury or inspire an athlete to better themselves.
-Chris, S10 Fitness