Ben is one of Crossfit Central’s upcoming Coaches! I had the pleasure of working with him this past week observing him teaching/Coaching Elements! He wrote this after his first day of Coaching and I thought it was worth sharing! A link to his website/blog is posted below his name, so you can enjoy more of Ben’s post!
Finding and Dismantling Weaknesses in Everything We Do
On Apache we talk a lot about shoring up weaknesses and being hard to kill. Pointing the finger inward at my coaching, I have buckets of experience helping athletes who already know movement patterns get better and more efficient at those movements. For example, if you are struggling with your Snatch I will be able to find the flaws and then model/drill the correct movement/s so that over time with focused practice you will overcome what is keeping you from your goals (or potential) on the technique side (then we get stronger and really heavy things start flying in the air the right way).
However, I am far more inexperienced in teaching athletes the Clean&Jerk and Snatch from scratch. It is an entirely different animal. These are the athletes that have yet to establish and/or reinforced the skill of our primary strength and power movements patterns (Back squat, front squat, OH squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, etc.). Over the last 9 weeks I have had the opportunity to watch and coach Elements. Elements is a three day intensive intro course covering the top 20 exercises athletes will be likely see in their upcoming CrossFit classes. Athletes come in at all different levels and it is our job as coaches to help these athletes recognize the lifts and then get them moving effectively and confidently through them. Sometimes it’s easy and visual learners get “it” right away (generally these are ex or current competitive athletes who are fairly adept at moving their bodies through space). Sometimes it is not such a cake walk. The athlete struggles and that is where the number of tools, cues, and progressions you have in your coaching tool belt comes into play. Yet, there is no joy like busting through a good struggle and I fully believe those athletes who struggle through elements may just get a little more out of it and with focused practice may come to dominate their non-practicing peers.
Over the last 9 weeks, I have watched, collaborated, and have been critiqued by many other coaches one of them being Karen Pierce. Besides being an amazing athlete, Coach Pierce is an extremely veteran and knowledgeable strength and conditioning coach. She has a cue that rhymes for pretty much every lift ever. It’s amazing. She has shared these with me and I am forever grateful as when we are moving people with our words, having short, concise, understandable phrases is key!
Karen has been teaching elements for 2+ years and it shows in everything she does. She has made it her constant effort as a coach to learn from each of her sessions and increase the number of tools she has to help both her entry level and experienced athletes. I have been very technical in my training and coaching up until this point and Karen helped me find the more raw easily accessible side that I have been missing. Thank you Karen. Now I have to do the same thing as you – focused practice. Who wants to take elements? We are at CrossFit Central Downtown every week. Holla
Strength and Power:
3 Position Snatch 2 sets at 70%, 3 sets at 75%
Snatch Pull 5×5 93%
Snatch Push Press 5×5 Heavier than last week
HiBar Back Squat 1×5 65%, 1×5 70%, 1×4 75%, 2×3 80%
Weighted Pull Up 3×10-12 Heavy as Possible
8 SB Slam (75/50)
16 KB Power Swing (2 pood/1.5pood)
2-3 min each side Barbell Mash or Roll Inner Groin
2-3 min Super Frog each side