The Highlight Reel

Well, things have been going a little crazy around here off and on, both in my coaching life and non-coaching life. That gives me more stuff to write about, which then makes me want to put off writing ’til the next day, then something else big happens to add to the update pile and the snowball starts rolling. So before I go crazy trying to write a gigantic day-by-day update post to get everyone up to speed, I’m just going to try to hit some highlights for now to get something out here, then try to stick to more of a daily schedule. Otherwise, I’ll never get around to updating this thing.

Last week, I started actually teaching some movements! Well, that’s probably not quite accurate in some of the circumstances. The first movement I taught was a shoulder press, which went okay explanation-wise. I mainly needed to walk around and have people repeat the movement a few times and correct some form here and there. Also had some issues with being a little scramble-brained in the explanation. Like, demonstrating how their heads should be pushed back when pressing the weight up and suddenly realizing I hadn’t mentioned foot positioning. Then back to the arms. And did I mention the knees? Oh, and the back!

Next up was the front squat. I explained possibly everything there is to know about the front rack position, using about ten minutes’ worth of words in about two minutes. Then, after purging everything I know about front rack, followed it with “… and then you squat. GO!” As Jay told me shortly after, if you’re teaching the front squat, it’s kind of important to teach the “squat” part of the equation.

I think the biggest thing for me is figuring out how to narrow things down to key points and cues and get them straight in my head before I open my mouth. Like my friend Dave told me, “Think of it like a bartender. Somebody orders a drink, they don’t start measuring out one ounce of this, two ounces of that. It’s just tequila, rum, juice, blam! Done!” Sure, he could have used a cooking analogy too, but hey, we’re CrossFitters.

I also attended an Olympic lifting clinic held by EC Synkowski & James Hobart which was awesome from an athlete perspective and overwhelming from a coaching perspective. First off, these two are astounding in how quickly they get everyone’s names figured out. My house consists of me, my wife and our dog and I’m only certain about their names 70% of the time. The big stunning thing was going over the snatch for an hour and a half or so, then realizing that this was the same thing I’d occasionally have to teach in only a few minutes’ worth of class time. If I start to think about it too much, I need a paper bag nearby to breathe into.

On Saturday, I taught all of Fight Gone Bad for one class. I felt most comfortable there, as it was more of a “watch me while I demonstrate, ’cause you’ll be doing this in a couple of minutes” kind of class. I do well in front of crowds, but something about having twenty people staring at me with PVC pipes on their shoulders makes my brain go all jangly. Oh well, with time and practice comes confidence and less jangliness, right? RIGHT?

This afternoon’s movement to teach? The back squat. Those of you who know me can imagine the grin I have on my face. Now we get to see how well I teach from my wheelhouse.

Great. Now I just freaked myself out again. Tune in tomorrow for the results!