Ropes, Firemen and Feedback….

08 May

One of the great things about Crossfit London is that it prioritises coach development and “people participation”

We discovered, that even in our coaching academy, the more involvement from the trainers the better:  For example, the quiz (on Crossfit methods)  is no longer centrally set, but the participants do their best to catch each other out with twisted, obscure, contrived takes on Greg Glassmans work: Fantastic: well done to Kate for coming up with some group-stopping quiz questions.

Tom Henry led a phenomenal practical session that included rope climbing and the fireman’s carry. Those trainers who want to add the fireman’s carry to their workouts will be assessed at the next academy. So, if a Crossfit London trainer asks if he can pick you up, they are not hitting on you, they are just practicing!


From the floor contributions by Kate, Josh and Sophia improved the  content and quality of the famous Crossfit London squat workshop.

Other focuses included  “welcoming new people” and discussed  structure, “placing” and the dismantling of barriers  (or how to get people to talk to each other): this was followed by ” feedback” The failure to feedback is often the graveyard of poor coaches.

To set the tone, we got Efe, Alex and Simon to teach the push press.  They then self-assessed, then got “participant feedback”. The feedback process follows us through every level of our lives. If you are unhappy at work, or with a service, 0r a loved one, there is little point in “grumping” about it. Give some positive feedback. Here are some of the theoretical guidance notes we gave out.


According to Scales P (2008) ‘Feedback is an essential element in effective communication between teacher and learners; the willingness of learners and teachers to give and receive feedback is at the heart of formative assessment’

The most obvious type of feedback is given by others, and they can be peers, students, or performance assessment feedback ( Wilson, 2008) . 

According to Gravells (2010), feedback is more in depth than a passing comment, and does not depend on opinion but facts that are relevant to the success or failure in the set task. To be effective, feedback must leave the learner feeling motivated to try again. Feedback needs to be specific and clearly state what the strengths/and or weaknesses were.  It should be constructive feedback and identify areas of improvement and what can practically be done about it. As its impossible to feedback about all aspects of performance, so it is important to priority to the more important elements.

In many cases the use of a praise sandwich (Gravells , 2010) can be appropriate, “ a positive opener, a developmental statement a motivational close” ( wilson 2008)

Ideally feedback needs to be on a one to one basis, and can be in written or oral, but learners need to be able  question the feedback giver (Gravells 2010). According to Wilson 2008 it needs to be delivered promptly

The feedback process is essential as it contributes to the reflective process. Wlson (2008) identifies numerous theorists associated with reflection, but basically draws a line in the sand  saying that good teachers reflect, and “coasting” ones don’t bother.

Gravells Ann (2010) Preparing to teach in the lifelong sector pub www.learning
Wilson Linda ( 2080) Practical Teaching A guide to PTLLs And CTTLS. pub Delmar cencage publishing

Good job everyone who participated in the Coaching Academy!

2 thoughts on “Ropes, Firemen and Feedback….

  1. we are adding the following advice from Crossfit Fife

    ” just too add we use alot of firemans lifts and agree with the lift shown, but we have found if your lead knee “penetrates their base position ie behind their center of gravity this alows you spine to be in an upright postion , so all you need to do is squat them to position without stressing your lower back”

  2. and from Graham hayes

    “Partner cooperation is quite important in this, if they tuck their legs in and place their hand on your lower back it helps tremendously. Doesn’t work if they’re unconscious though…”

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