Sam Main

Sam Main

Sam Main grew up in England, playing every sport he could, with success in football (soccer). The passion for travel and coaching started early, heading to South Africa to coach rugby to under privileged kids and then USA to coach swimming in between periods of study. Completing his BSc Sports Coaching in Wales, UK, Sam headed to Dubai, UAE, to coach CrossFit full time. In Dubai, Sam gained experience through multiple CrossFit certifications and hours of coaching. With the itch to travel, Sam attempted coaching in England and Thailand, but the urge to travel continued. Sam, now a guest coach, travels from CrossFit gym to CrossFit gym to cover short term for affiliates when required. Combined with this, Sam coach’s clients online, as well as writing daily on his public Facebook page, The Athletic Nomad. Sam has a passion for helping people improve their life through being active and traveling.

 

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Is Coaching CrossFit For You?

CrossFit has become a popular strength & conditioning program, with over 13,000 affiliates worldwide. With the growing popularity of the sport, there are many job opportunities to become a CrossFit Coach. However, the level of competition to work within the CrossFit & the fitness industry has significantly increased.

If you are thinking of changing careers to become a coach, or just as a part time hobby, this blog post is for you.

Why become a CrossFit Coach?

Passion For The Sport:

CrossFit has many attributes which make you fall in love with the sport. It is competitive but inclusive, it is challenging but achievable, it is an individual sport but shared with others. Becoming a CrossFit Coach means your hobby will become your job, and for this to be a long-term career choice, or even as a part-time position, you have to be passionate about the sport.

Do you spend your spare time watching CrossFit YouTube videos?

Do you frequently read blogs about CrossFit and the art of coaching?

Passion For Coaching:

Coaching is the art of guiding, motivating and training others to be a better version of themselves, through the good times and the bad. If you are interested in becoming a CrossFit coach, it is imperative that you care for the strangers that walk through the front door of your CrossFit box. Members become friends and – your reason for showing up at the gym at 5am every single day.

Being passionate about coaching is that burst of happiness you get when your male client who struggled with bullying from an early age, successfully squats 100kg for the first time. Passion for coaching is that sense of accomplishment when your female client, under pressure from the world who states she should look a certain way, achieves her first pull up and stands up for what she believes.

To Escape The Office Job:

Stuck in a job that’s not for you?

Are you sitting in an office from 9am – 5pm every day? Coaching is an active job which is very social and fun. The one hour a day that members spend in your gym should be the best hour of their day. How does that impact you? It is your job to make it fun, engaging and enjoyable. A slightly different role compared to sitting at a desk all day.

However, do not under estimate the difficulty of being active all day. You may have just finished a tough leg workout, have had minimal sleep and not enough time to eat, but there are 15 paying members waiting for you to lead a class & demonstrate perfect overhead squats. Ouch.

Challenging Through Diversity:

CrossFit is broken down into 11 different areas of fitness such as power, strength, flexibility etc. Now what makes CrossFit so challenging is this: you may be able to deadlift 500pounds, but can you also row 2 kilometres in under 7minutes? In CrossFit, the aim is not to be the master of one area of fitness, but to be the jack of all trades and have minimal weaknesses. This diversity is what makes CrossFit challenging, but it is also what makes becoming a CrossFit coach very difficult.

 

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To be a CrossFit coach, it is helpful to have knowledge in each area of fitness. You do not have to be able to coach a muscle up to the same standard as Dave Durante, or coach weightlifting like Chad Vaughan, but knowing the basics & being able to successfully communicate these basics to the members safely & effectively is important. Delivering points of performance on multiple movements, ranging from running to pull-ups to snatch is not easy, and as a coach, you will have to learn how to deliver the basics of these movements to your members, even if you do not enjoy running yourself.

Now this does not mean that mastering how to coach gymnastics or weightlifting is not desirable, as you can have great success in specialising in a chosen area of fitness, especially in the search for a coaching job. However, just because you can coach an athlete how to successfully snatch 300lbs does not mean you will be able to avoid coaching a member through toes-to-bar progressions.

Community:

If you type CrossFit onto YouTube.com, you will see many athletes in incredible shape, lifting heavy weights, doing impressive gymnastics & running like it is the start of a zombie apocalypse at the CrossFit games, but this only portrays a very small percentage of people in the world who regularly participate in CrossFit.

Many people will strive towards competing at the CrossFit Games, however, stepping into your local gym as a coach will be an entirely different scenario compared to that. What you may see though, is the average joe from down the road working hard towards achieving his goal of completing 30 push ups in a row. In the CrossFit affiliate, you may see the mother of two learning how to pick up an odd object from the ground without putting herself at risk of injury. Entering a CrossFit affiliate, you will see people smiling, learning and having fun whilst training towards their own personal goals.

The community of CrossFit is what keeps people coming in the door, 5 days a week. Without a fun, inclusive and determined community, CrossFit would not be the same. Becoming a CrossFit coach means you take a lead role in creating a community.

If you want to become a CrossFit coach so that you can spend all day in the gym to workout, coaching CrossFit is not for you.

Things To Keep In Mind As A CrossFit Coach

Overnight Millionaire Success Rate Is Low:

If you want to become a CrossFit coach because you want to earn lots of money in a small period of time, you may want to think twice. As a coach, you will usually receive either a salary as a full-time coach, plus commission for any extra personal training sessions you complete or potentially a pay-per-hour rate. If you are part-time, you may be coaching for an hourly rate or to simply cover the cost of your membership at the gym you train at, which is often the case and not a recommended action for CrossFit affiliate owners.

Can you earn a good living from coaching CrossFit? Yes.

Is it easy to do? No.

To earn a good income as a CrossFit Coach, it will require years of consistency to gain clients, many hours spent coaching, studying and marketing, but it can be achieved.

Be the best coach that you can be. Master your craft to the best of your ability. Work hard and stay consistent. Provide the best results to your members as possible, and the rewards will come.

Scattered Working Hours:

Working an 8-hour shift as a CrossFit Coach is rare. As an affiliate owner, 8 hours is an easy day at work.

Coaching for 2 hours in the morning, then 2 hours in the evening is a more common approach used by affiliate owners.

The work timings are not usually a problem, but it is not for everyone. There is a reason CrossFit coaches love strong coffee and power naps.

Would the scattered hours of work be an issue for you?
Do you like the repetition of working from 9am-5pm every day?

Air Squats, Not Muscle Ups:

Only a small minority of athletes compete at a high level. If you are thinking of getting involved in coaching CrossFit as you want to teach people muscle ups every class, you may be in for a surprise.

As a coach, you will spend most of your time drilling the basics such as an air squat or shoulder press compared to teaching high level gymnastics every session. You should be prepared to coach the same class over and over within 24 hours, and to coach the same movement for that day. Yes, there will be times where you get to challenge your coaching ability and teach people how to do a handstand push up, but coaching the basics of movement is the main priority.

This should not take away from your motivation to becoming a CrossFit coach. Witnessing a 65-year-old lady complete her first push up and seeing the smile on her face light up everyone in the room is just as good a feeling as seeing a games athlete back squat 500lbs for the first time.

 

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Do you still want to be a CrossFit Coach, but do not know where to start?

Do you want to turn this dream into a reality?

It is time to gain the qualifications, knowledge and experience you require to start making steps in the right direction.

Check out this AdventureFit Travel post for your guide to starting your coaching journey:

http://www.adventurefittravel.com/blog/item/681-your-guide-to-coaching-in-paradise

 

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Your Guide To Coaching In Paradise

Do you want to coach CrossFit abroad?
To travel?
To challenge yourself?
To get paid to be in a holiday destination?

Here’s how.

1 – Be the needle in the haystack.
Achieving a job working abroad is not easy and is certainly not for everyone. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) will be crucial to you sticking out in a highly competitive field of applicants. Your CV will be the first thing an employer looks at and potentially the last thing they look at, if you have not taken the right steps to improving your CV prior to application.

Recommended Qualifications: 
CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course(CFL1) is a minimum requirement, the CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Course puts you one step ahead of other applicants..
CrossFit Specialty Courses are highly recommended. You can become a specialist in one area of fitness, such as weightlifting or strongman. You could become a generalist and cover all areas, ranging from gymnastics to powerlifting, and CrossFit kids to CrossFit Spear.
Personal Training qualifications give strength to your CV and offers potential to increase your income.
First Aid At Work qualifications are often a requirement for employers, therefore, being prepared and having the qualification makes you stand out from the crowd.


2 – What makes you different?
Your CV is only one part of the process. Differentiating yourself from other applicants is key. To do this, you need to do things that will add to your CV, but are not necessarily a course or qualification.

Travel – Go to as many countries as possible, demonstrate to your potential employer you can cope out in the ‘real’ world away from the comforts of your parent’s home cooked meals & fresh bed sheets. Experience on the road ensures that working abroad is the right move for you. Traveling and potentially leaving your family is not an easy thing to do, but working in paradise makes it worthwhile. Sacrificing time with family is the hardest part of working abroad.

Volunteer – When was the last time you helped someone less fortunate than you? Life is about leaving the world a better place than when you arrived. Instead of going to the pub with your friend on a Tuesday night, could you volunteer at a local sports club and coach special need’s kids? Instead of putting money aside to buy yourself another new pair of trainers, could you put this money aside to help buy a school book for someone less fortunate?

 

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Yes, this will help your CV. No, this should not be done to just improve your CV and the likelihood of getting a new job, but because it makes you a better person. If everyone did their part in this world, we could make a huge difference to those in need. Showing you care will make you stand out to an employer and can be the difference to you getting the job or not.

Coach outside of your comfort zone. If you have only coached CrossFit in one gym, does this demonstrate to your employer how diverse your skill set is? Visit other CrossFit gyms, visit other countries and coach in as many scenarios as possible. The sport you coach does not have to be CrossFit. Experience coaching any sport, in different facilities, in multiple countries shows willingness to challenge yourself and adapt. Coaching out of your comfort zone enables you to experience and witness other coaches. Learn from these coaches and take your own ability up a level.

3 – Search Online For Jobs.
Finding a job coaching in paradise is surprisingly easy with a little hard work, however, finding the right place for you is difficult. By going onto google, searching for CrossFit Coaching Jobs, you will have an array of CrossFit Affiliates looking for employees.

Finding a gym is easy, but deciding whether that gym is right for you will take further research. So, what should you do?


First, is the country where the affiliate is located of interest to you? The location is important and will heavily impact your future at the affiliate. If you love being by the ocean, finding a coaching job in Nebraska, USA, where you are miles away from the ocean may not be suitable. If the job is in central New York, USA, what will you do about accommodation / transport? If the job is in Australia, can you get a working VISA? I am not trying to say that coaching in these places will not work out, but it is wise to consider these things prior to taking the next step.

Second, research the CrossFit affiliate that you have taken an interest too. Look at the affiliate’s website. On a gym’s website, they will often list their coaches & their coaches experience. Can you learn from these coaches? Are you over qualified? Often a gym will list their prices, schedule & mission statement. What can you learn from this information. Will it benefit you financially to work at a specific gym if the gyms’ location is in a poor area? Why does the gym only have 3 classes a day, does the gym only have 50 members? What can you learn from their mission statement?

This information will help you decide on whether this is the right affiliate for you, or whether you should keep looking. Often, gyms may not have an up to date website, but it is worth finding out as much information as possible.

Third, contact other CrossFit coaches. The majority of affiliates will have their coaches credentials on a website, or will promote their coaches on social media. This gives you a contact and someone who you can ask for advice. If the coach has moved on to another gym, why have they left? Does the coach have any advice for you? Can the coach recommend a location for accommodation? Creating an overall picture of a gym before you commit to a job allows you to minimize mistakes. Remember that the final decision is to be made by you. If you like the look of an affiliate, investigate and contact them. It may be the best 'risk' you have ever taken.

It is important to keep in mind that you cannot judge a book by its cover. You can learn a lot by researching the specifications of a new car online, but you do not know if you will like the new car until you have been in the driver’s seat.

4 – The Power of Social Media.
This section relates to searching for a CrossFit coaching job online, and for this social media is an incredibly powerful tool if used correctly. On Facebook, there are pages specifically set up for CrossFit in Europe, CrossFit in Asia, CrossFit Coaches Worldwide etc. These pages have gym owners posting job vacancy's and can be the fastest way to finding a CrossFit Job in your favourite holiday destination.

 

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Search Facebook for CrossFit Jobs. Sign up to those pages and keep an eye out for any jobs which may be listed. Introduce yourself within these groups, engage with others and keep searching for the perfect job opportunity.

Keep in mind, when searching for jobs using Facebook or social media, potential employers can see and gain a lot of information about you from your personal page. If every weekend you go out to drink alcohol, are irresponsible and this is the only post on social media, will this encourage your employer to hire you? The answer is no!

Clean up your social media.

Your social media is an online CV for everyone to see.

Use social media to your advantage.

Can you create training videos on YouTube?
Could you write blog posts for your Facebook followers?
Could you re-post beneficial podcasts for others to listen too?

 

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Do You Want To Coach CrossFit In Paradise?

To start the journey, get the qualifications required and learn as much as possible. Travel, volunteer and be different. Use social media to your advantage. Do your research, find a suitable location and take the risk.

 

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