The A Team: How To Be A Great Teammate
Whether you are working on a team for competition or otherwise, teamwork in CrossFit is something that is impossible to get away from. Community is a big part of the sport, but in a normal environment, athletes generally work alone. So when the opportunity to be a team player does arise, how can you be part of the A Team?
A lot of times athletes can get very focused on themselves during a WOD, which is totally fine. However, if you’re a more seasoned athlete, chances are, other gym mates will start coming to you for advice. So, if someone asks you for your coaching on a specific lift or movement, be present. This means you’re totally engaged in order to give them the best coaching possible. On the other hand, you also deserve the right to decline the invitation until you are finished training yourself. Bottom line: no half-assed coaching.
Being a great teammate doesn’t mean you have to be the best athlete in the gym, rather the hardest worker in the gym. The most inspiring person is relentless with their training in order to crush their goals. Maybe it’s coming in and failing at pull ups for weeks before getting their first completed rep. Those are the people that make you work a little harder every day.
Invested In Development
Even the more elite athletes have room to develop. The best athletes are not only invested in their development, but yours too. They are there to support you in your goals and are genuinely excited when you hit a PR—maybe even more so than when they hit their own. Basically, they set their own goals, working strategically towards them, and are the biggest cheerleader in the gym.
To be clear, there is a big difference between sympathy and empathy. There is no need to feel sorry for your teammates if something isn’t going right. However, being able to relate is super important. We have all had frustrating days in the gym, whether that was because we missed a lift that is generally easy for us or are working on a skill that’s just not shaping up. Talking through it and relating it to a time you were in a similar situation could make all the difference.
No “Bro Reps”
This is perhaps the most important part of being a great teammate. It’s really easy to count reps, but it’s not always easy to throw out an honest no rep when the athlete doesn’t perform to standard, especially when you know the athlete is working as hard as they can. Maybe it’s a pride thing, but regardless, you are doing your teammate a disservice counting reps that aren’t to standard. If a competition is in your teammate’s future, they will thank you for keeping them honest. Promise.