Keep Calm and Get Fired Up!

Posted by Kayla Castro
Feb 17 2015

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Love me some Ted Lasso. But the point is that you both need to chill the fuck out about new years resolutions and figure out what motivates you to show up to the gym.

This is a constant puzzle that we try to figure out: how to get people to have fun (and hence keep coming) and how to get them to work hard. Lots of different schools of thoughts on this, but I think a lot of it comes down to the individual. There’s a great piece in the book “From the Horse’s Mouth: Selected Thoughts on Small Unit Leadership” about this very conundrum.

The basic gist is that a Civil War general has three regimental commanding officers, and he knows that to be effective he has to give them each different orders. The first CO has to have everything spelled out to him, and he’ll execute exactly what you want him to do, no more and no less. The second CO hated to be told what to do, he only wanted to be told what the end state needed was and wanted to figure everything else out himself. The third CO had to be told the exact opposite of what the general wanted. The general would frame it something like “Colonel, there’s just no chance that you could take Hill 172 by 1600 on Tuesday, it’s impossible.” The Colonel would then move heaven and earth to prove the general wrong, which is what the general wanted in the first place.

Generally, I think having fun and getting people results is a good start.

Russ Greene had an interesting take on this with respect to a recent T-Nation article:

“Quit trying to make exercise fun” – Dr. John Rusin
“Have fun with it.” – Rich Froning.
Hmmm. To whom to listen?

And I agree, so we try to make class fun, but we also try to tailor the class experience for each individual. I talked about this before in “How To Teach a CrossFit Class.” Our coaches are expected to engage with each client individually and try to address that specific client’s needs on a one-on-one basis. While the group class limits that ability to a degree, with time and commitment on both the coaches’ and athletes’ parts, you should be having fun and seeing progress.

[Originally posted Potomac CrossFit 150114]

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