False positives…

I’ve followed more than a few Facebook pages dedicated to CrossFit and CrossFit love and WOD and RX and whatever else CrossFit lingo related stuff in the past couple of years. It’s a great way, I thought, to see the thoughts of others, and to see what motivates (or doesn’t motivate) CrossFit athletes.

Change the voices in your head.


I’m all for motivation. Motivation kicks ass.
I’m against bullying. In pretty much any form.
I loveLOVElove love an underdog story. Rocky, Mighty Ducks, whatever. Even more love when it’s a real story. LOVE it.
BUT –
More and more I’m seeing these pages say “NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS! NEGATIVE COMMENTS WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE BANNING FROM OUR PAGE! THIS IS A LOVING AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT! NO H8!”

I’m so very confused…because the impressions is increasingly that any comment or opinion contrary to one’s own is negativity, or hate, or haters, or whatever. Only words of positivity and support may be uttered, and even then, it must be in a deferential and reverent tone.
The hell?
Guys – candor is a sign of respect. Rudeness is not, but candor is.

As coaches we are not here to give you false positives. We’re here to work with you and make you better. We’re not here to give you a verbal hug every day. You get our respect because you show up, but you are in the wrong place if you’re looking for smoke to be blown up your ass.

Every rep won’t be perfect.
Every movement will not be correct.
Sometimes, we’re going to nitpick a certain point, over and over again, because THAT POINT is so essential to the movement that missing the point is going to corrupt the whole exercise. And, if you’re missing it, we can’t, as coaches, tell you “Well, it’s good enough and you’re a special snowflake and so it’ll be okay…”
That’s not fair to you…and it’s certainly not going to make you better at what we’re doing.

It’s not our job to beat you down either, and I am certainly not advocating any coach abusing his or her position. But here are the real honest facts:
1. You’re going to suck at something – so we’re here to help you get better at that particular something.
2. You’re going to be really really good at something – we’re here to help you remember that, and also to analyze what makes you so good at that particular movement, and then cue others to follow your lead.
3. You won’t always be the best, or nearly the best, or even close to the best – so it’s our job to make sure our programming constantly improves and challenges you.
4. You’re going to hear things you don’t like, you’re going to get frustrated, you’re going to get upset – so as coaches, it’s on us to recognize your threshold of frustration, and to back you off of it so you don’t get supremely discouraged.

So don’t take it personally. It’s not an attack. Every “not positive” thing you hear isn’t meant to bring you down. Sometimes the construction happens because of attention to deconstruction.

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2 Responses to “False positives…”

  1. This is a great reminder not to take things personally and that our coaches goal is for us to improve as athletes, which sometimes means tough love.

  2. Haha , Mighty Ducks was the primary reason I wanted to start playing hockey; love hearing stories where people overcome big obstacles 🙂

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