You Make It Look So Easy! by Coach Chad
When demoing movements while coaching, I sometimes get that statement from people. “You make it look so easy!” While it makes me smile inside (thanks!), it also leads me to the obvious question of “Why?”
First let’s start with my athletic background just to give you some insight. I played baseball and soccer growing up but never very exceptionally. I was more of the “beat the other team by outrunning them” kind of athlete. I was taught that even if the other team was better than you, you could always be fitter than them if you worked harder. It led to an internal drive that made sure I never walked during practice and was always up for one more sprint than everyone else.
In college, that spirit found its fruition in intramural sports and the weight room. I started by lifting weights with Kelly’s brother Brandon who taught me from the beginning to focus on form. The weight would come with time. Being a skinny college kid leads you to quickly desire the heavier weights but I listened to my mentor and put in the hard work.
After college, I became a personal trainer and later found CrossFit. I always instilled the original lesson through all of this that technique is the most important aspect of getting really strong. It paves the way for success. Don’t think so? Check out this video of Maddy Myers. She’s clean and jerking almost double bodyweight. I’d bet there’s some technique involved. She warms up with your max. You should probably listen up!
So how did a guy of average athletic ability become good at this stuff?
1. Do your research. That means ask your coach for help. Read blogs about CrossFit, weightlifting and gymnastics. Watch videos on YouTube of professionals. Soak up all of the knowledge that the internet provides these days.
2. Focus yourself. Watch a video and then close your eyes and visualize yourself doing it. Your success is predicated by your positive self talk and mental ability to see yourself making the lift. Suck at handstands? Practice them everyday until you see improvement. Ask your coach to grab the iPad at the gym and film you lifting. Break things down and be critical to fix the little errors.
3. Be willing to miss. Think I’ve made every lift in my career? Ha! You’ve got to be willing to miss a lift in order to really test yourself. Does that mean you should extend yourself to the point of terrible technique and possible injury? No! Be honest with yourself about what you’re attempting and be okay with taking a step backwards to ensure progress later.
4. Perfect practice makes perfect. When I first started CrossFitting, there were only 5 affiliates in North Carolina. The workouts came from CFHQ and I didn’t have a coach. I had to film myself and learn from my mistakes. It made for slow progress. Luckily you have an entire team of coaches at the box who watches your every move! Make good use of them. And remember that it’s taken me 10 years of CrossFitting to get to this point!
So there we are. If you follow those 4 steps, I can guarantee that you’ll make good progress. If you’ve stalled out, maybe it’s time to set up a goal setting meeting by emailing Kelly or myself. They’re free and they keep you on the right track. It’s a win-win.
Which step are you missing and how are you going to focus on it?