Written by JoEllyn McAtee
Like most coaches, I have to find time to squeeze in my own workouts between teaching class, taking care of other things in the gym and everything else in my crazy schedule. You might be in a similar situation or be a solo athlete out there training in a garage gym or overseas which means a lot of the time you end up training on your own. A friend and I were discussing our personal performances in the gym and out of frustration she said ‘even coaches need coaching’. I immediately knew what she meant and I totally agree. This isn’t to say that you’ll never be a decent athlete on your own as clearly, this isn’t the case because there are many successful victories for athletes and coaches that train alone. However, I think most would agree, that it takes some serious self-discipline and you’ll make way more mistakes, when training on your own. So athletes, keep in mind that there is great value in a training partner and even more value in a coach.
Here are some helpful tips to keep those coaches and solo athletes focused as they train on their own:
Compete: Sign yourself up and get nervous! Competitions make you realize your weaknesses and motivate you to work on those movements or skills that you may be neglecting in your everyday training. Competitions also give you an opportunity to work out with others and meet new athletes and coaches. Competitions can be great community events that help to keep your love for the sport on fire and push your body to the limits.
Video Analysis: I am a huge fan of videoing your workouts, not just that one rep max that you want to show off to your friends. That one rep max of the day might be close to perfect but how efficient are your consecutive 75lb clean and jerk half way through a met-con? I don’t know about you but when I am tired I know I am not thinking about those little cues that I should be thinking about. Trying to analyze why that last muscle-up failed without a slow-motion replay is nearly impossible. However, having your phone or video camera set up to record and review later will give you a little more insight and way more accountability. And of course if you approve of your performance, you can still use it to brag about your workout to your friends. 😉
Set Goals: Write it Down! You have your athletes do it so why don’t you? Set goals for your fitness, write them down, tell people about them, post them on social media and then set a time frame in which you want to reach them. Be specific in your goals and then let people know when you make them and also when you reach them! We are all motivated and inspired when we watch people hit their goals so don’t be afraid of seeming cocky or arrogant if you want others to celebrate with you! Ring that PR bell when no one is around to hear it for yourself and then let them know that you did!!! You deserve it!!
Check out this interview with JoEllyn…
Learn: For some reason when I get new shoes I want to go workout right then and there. Maybe you get new wrist wraps or a belt and you want to try them out right away? I feel the same way after reading an informative article, participating in a training camp or attending a seminar. It is worth the money to make yourself a better coach and/or athlete and guess what? You might even get motivated to try it out when you get back to your own gym! Seminars, camps and articles can all be found on the Juggernaut website. Also, check your local colleges for classes offered, research certifications and coaches that you respect and find out what new courses they offer in your area of town.
Find a Coach/training partner/or local CrossFit Box: Anyone can take a novice into a gym and produce results but for those athletes to push pass good to great, takes coaching and programming, not chance. These athletes need to be analyzed, fine-tuned and stay consistent in training. There are multiple ways to get that coaching that an athlete needs, and the easiest way is to just walk into a local CrossFit gym. Even if you drop into a local class a couple times a month (most gyms have a one class drop in rate) you can get some pointers on skill work and experience a bit of the community that training alone lacks. Seek out a specific coach for the skills you struggle with whether it’s Olympic lifting, mobility, or gymnastics. There are also online training programs where you can submit videos and receive feedback from great coaches, such as the Juggernaut team.
Have Fun and Train Hard!JoEllyn started her athletic career running track at Christian Academy of Louisville. She then went on to run NCAA Division I track at both University of Louisville and then Liberty University, where she competed in both the Big East and Big South conference meets. She earned her certification with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 2008 and in that same year graduated with a Kinesiology degree from Liberty University. JoEllyn received her CrossFit Certification in 2010 and USA Weightlifting Certification in 2012. She competed on a team in the 2010 CrossFit Central East Regionals, recently finished 4th overall as an individual in the 2012 CrossFit Central East Open and placed 6th overall as an individual in the 2012 CrossFit Central East Regionals. Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter