Why Coaches Need Coaches: Let’s Admit We Need Help

December 2, 2019 by
Source: Gregg Wilson
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I’m by no means a professional athlete, but there is a valid reason to my nickname is “CrossBrit.”

I’m passionate about every aspect of CrossFit – from training to nutrition – and constantly seeking out knowledge to not only perform at my best but pursue good health and longevity.

I’m also a qualified Yoga Teacher and (albeit not practicing) Nutrition Coach. Call it self-study, after a year working with #TeamWAG, I embarked on gaining my Precision Nutrition Certificate to learn more and eventually determine for myself what I needed to fuel for training (and life!)

Fast forward 18 months – I’m pleased to report that I’m still on the straight and narrow. I know all the formulas to work out my “marcos” and I’m well versed on when and what to eat around training. 2020 marked my third CrossFit Open and really, I’d never felt more confident in my preparation to tackle the ‘Castro Chaos.’

Why go back to the beginning?

After my recent sit-down with Adee Cazayoux from Working Against Gravity, I left the conversation contemplating the benefits of having someone completely removed from my situation to comment on it.

Practicing targeted nutrition can be tough at the best of times, let alone determining the ins and outs of how you’re going to make it happen.

Call it a little experiment – I handed back my credit card details – to invest in myself and give someone else the reigns for a little while. Here goes nothing and like a first date (it’s daunting sending semi-naked pictures of yourself to a stranger – see week 1 and 2 below) I received an email stating “Hi, I’m Amy and I’ll be your nutrition coach.”

I’m not alone.

Founder of The Method Now – an online nutrition company – Kayla Banfield (and James Newbury’s partner for the record) is open about seeking the advice of her own coaches from time to time when it comes to her nutrition.

For Kayla – at times – it’s important to take the emotion out of it. “I think many coaches get caught up in the mentality that they shouldn’t need coaching because they’re the professional, but it says nothing negative about your credentials in my opinion,” she said.

“Federer is the best tennis player in the world, yet he still enlists the help of a coach. Is that coach necessarily ‘better’ than he is at tennis? Probably not, but that’s not the point. The point is that together we can achieve more,” she told the Morning Chalk Up.

Alex Georgoulis is also an online nutrition coach and programmer: “I like the accountability and it’s also nice not to have to think about what I’m going to do … especially when I’m spending a fair amount of time creating programs for others,” she said.

Games athlete Kara Saunders too – on her postpartum comeback – recently realigned herself with a nutrition coach, despite her own extensive background in studying nutrition and naturopathy.

Why? Kara wrote: “The reason I have @adeecazayoux and @workingagainstgravity in my corner is because I hate going around in circles in my head wondering if I’m eating too much or not enough to achieve all of these things.”

Listen up Level-1-ers – I’m looking at you.

I’m going to share with you my journey over the next eight weeks, working alongside Amy Locati from Working Against Gravity.

I’ll admit – like many journalists and CrossFitters alike – I’m a control freak and slightly neurotic so handing over the reins was easier said than done.

It can be hard when you’ve invested the time to educate yourself, then trusting that someone else has done their homework. Perhaps they don’t know better – maybe they do – but regardless, you can guarantee they’ll see things from a different perspective.

Maybe you’re the head coach at your affiliate who’s programed for your members for years or a nutrition coach who’s tried and tested every plan on the planet. Ask yourself: Could it be time to try a different approach, give yourself a break? Maybe play student for a little while and learn more from being coachable?

The journey so far.

A month in, call me corny (and I’m all for self-motivation) but throughout the Open it was god-send having someone in your corner taking out the guesswork.

Case in point: Amy changed things up with my macros and was a sounding block post my Open workout attempts. We’d put a plan in place to fuel, rest and recover (all things I personally struggle with!) properly over the weekend, before reattempting the workouts. There was nothing like being able to send my new nutrition pen pal, a positive report back on the redo.

I’d love to hear from members of the community in the same boat. I’m ready for tips and tricks from the best coaches out there: How do you seek out advice and sometimes admit, I need help?

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