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  • Writer's pictureFarran Mackay

Empowering coaches: How to program your coach development

At Virtuous Coach Development, we believe in the power in investing in your coaches. This leads to increased job satisfaction, promotes loyalty, and improves member retention. Creating a development program for coaches is a great way to support the growth and development of your coaching team.



Most (head) coaches have a relatively good understanding of what is required to create a CrossFit® training program. Programming for CrossFit® requires a solid understanding of the CrossFit® methodology, clear goals and priorities, a balanced program, varied workouts, creativity, data-driven decision making, and a willingness to listen to athlete feedback. With these concepts in mind, we can design effective and engaging programming for our athletes/members.


The same holds true for programming coach development. Not only does it require a solid understanding of the methodology, but it also requires a deep knowledge of coaching principles and techniques, as well as experience in coaching and mentoring other coaches. Similar to creating a CrossFit® training program it also requires clear goals and priorities, a balanced program, varied trainings principles, creativity, data-driven decision making, and a willingness to listen to coach feedback.


Do you program your coach development?


If so, do you put as much thought into your coach development program as you do your training program?


If you are unsure where to begin, here are some steps you can take to create an effective and engaging CrossFit coach development program.


Step #1 - Identify the goals and objectives


The first step in creating a development program is to identify the goals and objectives of the program. This can include goals such as improving coaching skills, increasing client retention, or developing leadership abilities.


Step #2 - Scan


Once you've identified the goals of the program, you need to conduct a scan to identify areas where your coaching team may need to improve, and the development wishes of your coaches. A scan should be as all encompassing as possible to be able to identify the development needs of the team, so consider lesson observations, member and peer feedback, as well as data analysis of business and/or athlete performance.


A scan should also involve finding out what the individual development wishes are of your CrossFit coaches. It can include their professional goals, such as improving their coaching skills, becoming a head coach, or developing a specialty in a particular area, as well as their personal goals, such as improving their work-life balance or developing new hobbies or interests.


Step #3 - Create a development plan


Based on the scan, a development plan should consider the following topics at both team, and individual levels, and also describe how they will be implemented.


1) Formal training - You can develop a training plan that includes specific courses, seminars, or other (inhouse) training opportunities to help your coaching team develop the skills they need to achieve the goals of the program.


2) Practice and feedback - To help your coaching team develop their skills, you should provide opportunities for practice and feedback. This can include role-playing exercises, coaching simulations, or peer feedback sessions.


3) Coaching and mentoring - In addition to formal training opportunities, you should also provide coaching and mentoring to your coaching team. This can include regular check-ins, feedback on their coaching, and guidance on how to improve their coaching skills.


4) Milestones and targets - To keep your coaching team on track, it's important to set milestones and timelines for the development program. This can include specific deadlines for completing training courses or achieving certain coaching goals.


Step #4 - Evaluate the effectiveness of the program


Finally, it's important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the development program and make adjustments as needed. This can help ensure that the program is meeting the goals and needs of your coaching team, and is having a positive impact on your gym's coaching culture.


Don’t Forget You Can Ask for Support


Overall, creating a development program for coaches requires careful planning and evaluation. By following these steps, you can create a program that supports the growth and development of your coaching team which leads to increased job satisfaction, promotes loyalty, and improves member retention.


At Virtuous Coach Development we can support you in all aspects of creating a development program. By relying on our expertise and experience, you will gain a well structured development program that is specific to the needs of your business and coaches without requiring a large time investment from your side.


Feel free to schedule a call to have a chat over coffee (or whatever you want!) about your affiliate, team, or your own coaching.

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