I coached the 10 and 11am sessions at CFD this morning. I don’t typically blog on rest days, but I feel compelled to do so today.
There were 12 in attendance today, including two drop-ins, Bradley and David. Today’s WOD included 15 minutes of practice on the rings and then conditioning of 40 handstand pushups, 40 pull-ups, and 40 kettle bell step-ups for time. I once again used Coach’s Eye to reinforce feedback for skills. I also challenged athletes to challenge themselves. Bradley and David responded very well to feedback, and both were able to achieve an upside down vertical hold on the rings. Amy attempted a ring dip with the thinnest band, and although she didn’t complete the ring dip, she did at least try. (By the way, I love Amy, and she can do no wrong.) Nate continues to show improvement with muscle-ups, and it’s only a matter of time until he gets the timing right.
I began both sessions by stating something like the following: The only person you are competing with today is yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, and don’t race anyone else. Challenge yourself. If you can do 20 or more unbroken pull-ups, then do chest to bar or dead-hang pull-ups. Use the heaviest weight possible for step-ups. Start handstand pushups with two mats instead of three. Do all 40 handstand pushups before pull-ups, and all 40 pull-ups before step-ups. This metcon is for you to challenge yourself. My only goal is for each of you to complete the metcon in 20 minutes or less.
Athletes were allowed to scale all activities, and to break up the reps however they saw fit. I encouraged athletes to chip away at handstand pushups throughout and to not discount the difficulty of step-ups.
I observed form and if a skill looked too easy, I challenged the individual. For example, Luke’s Aunt Sandra was completing step-ups with far too much ease. I encouraged her to grab a heavier set of kettle bells. When she didn’t, I grabbed a slightly heavier pair, set them by her plyo box, and moved the lighter pair away, although within sight and reach. She did an awesome job of “stepping up” to the challenge! Prior to the metcon I strongly urged (i.e., didn’t give any choice) Amy, Nate, and Jeff to use very heavy kettle bells. All three did, and all three were spectacular. Nate started with kipping pull-ups and then challenged himself with butterfly pull-ups. Well done, Nate! Kristin, as I would expect, fought for quite a few reps of handstand pushups and kipping pull-ups. She never gives up, she’s always positive, and she listens to her coaches. She’s a coach’s dream coachee! Bradley started with kipping pull-ups and did the last 10 or more as chest to bar pull-ups, and with near perfect form.
I’ve only coached Melissa a couple of times. I was, however, the most proud of her today. She began pull-ups using two green bands. I said, “That looks too easy.” I removed one of the green bands and got a blue band ready to use if needed. She completed the remainder of her pull-ups using just one band, and sometimes doing just one pull-up at a time. She also began to kip. When I encouraged her to mix her grip and occasionally do a chin-up, that’s just what she did. She completed modified handstand pushup using a box. I encouraged her to move her hands closer to the box each round, and again, that’s exactly what she did. She used a challenging weight for the step-ups, and was struggling by the end of the metcon. She didn’t argue with me when I challenged her, she incorporated my feedback immediately, and she even smiled when I praised her.
Melissa had the slowest time of the day.
Another individual who I’ll call Tim (obviously not his actual name) was a different story altogether. I attempted to provide coaching and it fell on deaf ears. For example, I began by reminding him to touch his head to the ground for modified handstand pushups. His head never touched the ground. As in the past, I reminded him to fully extend his arms at the bottom of pull-ups and to ensure that his chin went above the bar at the top of pull-ups. Not once did he full extend his arms and I seldom saw his chin go above the bar. In fact, there were quite a few occasions when his chin was inches away from the bar. And yet he counted every rep. And he never contemplated using a band for assistance.
Tim had the fastest time of the day.
I think you know where I’m going with this.
I truly enjoy coaching when someone is coachable. I’d rather not even be there if someone is not coachable. Better still, I’d rather someone not attend a session I’m coaching if they think or feel that my coaching is incorrect or inadequate, have a negative attitude, or just plain don’t like me. At CFD, there is always open gym. I wouldn’t be the least bit bothered if an individual chose to do the WOD – without my coaching – on her or his own.
One last thing: I don’t coach for the money.
Okay, one very last thing: I know my coaching style isn’t for everyone. I would, however, rather over-coach than under-coach.
I promise, this is the very, very last thing: Michael Kelley.