How To Help An Athlete Who Is Struggling


Coaching Tip: Occasionally, I will post tips specifically for the coaches out there. If you’re not a coach, you will still be able to use them to improve as an athlete, teammate or training partner.

If you see athletes trip up or begin to struggle in a WOD, the best thing you can do is give them something simple to focus on. Encourage athletes by giving them a single task to think about. You want to make sure the task is something that can be easily attained by the athlete, so that he or she can gain confidence and get back on track as soon as possible. It’s important to help your athletes get back to thinking about the present and about what they need to do to be successful. Also, make sure to speak in a positive language.

  • If you see an athlete start to struggle or lose focus, give specific coaching that helps the athlete focus on the task

– Instead of yelling “focus”, try “focus on opening your hips” or “focus your eyes on the box”

– Instead of yelling “don’t round your back”, try “chest up, tight back” or “eyes up and pull your shoulders back”

  • Keep your coaching cues short and sweet.
  • Make sure you’re telling them what to do and how to do it. 
  • Encourage your athletes by giving them specific coaching about the task that they are on. 


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