To be a good coach, you do not have to be a good athlete—end of story.
I think ego holds many people back in the sports world, and especially in the fitness. Many athletes will turn their nose up at a coach that is not as fit as them. Ego prevents them from an opportunity to learn from someone. It puts them at a disadvantage.
I think there is some validity to being fit and coaching CrossFit. I think it shows the people you are training and putting yourself through the same challenging workouts. You should be a good example of what the program can do for your clients.
But by no means does someone have to top the leaderboard to give quality coaching. In fact, the most fit person I’ve ever trained with regularly, could do everything well, better than almost anyone, but had a very hard time transferring that into instruction for an every day CrossFitter.
There are plenty of Super Bowl-winning NFL coaches who do not hold a flame to a candle when it comes to the aesthetics or athleticism of the players they coach. Knowing how to make someone better doesn’t require either of those things.
The difference between being a CrossFit coach and an NFL coach is the people you are working with. At our gym, 99.9% of the people who come care less about their workout time and more about what their body looks like. They look to you as the coach as an example. They want to see you doing the workouts, and they want to see their future aesthetics in you. So as CrossFit coaches, we have a bit more of “Walk the talk” that has to happen than Andy Reid does.
But even with that, I still believe to be a good coach and to help athletes of all levels; you do not have to be the best athlete.
So pay attention in class. Learn from people who coach every day and from people who can make you better, and if you genuinely believe the people who are coaching you, find another gym.