Master of the Many

  • 05 Apr 2015 19:59


    April 05, 2015

    It takes great skill to manage a large group of

  • athletes. Affiliate owners share how they learned to do it and how they’re teaching others to be leaders.

    Coaching a group class is a bit like being an offensive lineman on the football field: When you perform well, you’re not always rewarded, but it’s incredibly obvious when you mess up.

    When you’re disorganized and don’t pay attention to the small details, your class can quickly spiral into chaos and confusion. But when you master coaching a group of 20 people, classes appear to run almost effortlessly.

    In the 2006 CrossFit Journal article “Scaling Professional Training,” CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO Greg Glassman wrote about the challenges of the transition from working predominantly in a one-on-one setting to coaching group classes. As a solution to a busy schedule, Glassman started training his existing clients in pairs and slowly moved to larger groups.

    “To run group classes without compromising our hallmark laser focus and commitment to the athlete, the trainer has to learn to give each member of the group the impression that he is getting all the attention that he could get in one-on-one training, and that requires tremendous training skill,” Glassman wrote of one of the challenges.

    It’s been nine years since Glassman wrote the article, but coaches today are continually faced with the same challenges Glassman identified.

    So how does the affiliate owner get coaches ready to lead and manage a large group with skill?

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