Whiteboard Briefs Should Boost the Value of Your Group Classes
Written by Kirsten Ahrendt
One of the critical concepts we cover in the Invictus University curriculum is “creating a culture of customization”. This is a pillar of what sets Invictus training spaces apart from other “functional fitness” or traditional CrossFit-style gym environments. Talking about a culture of customization is easier than actually BUILDING and IMPLEMENTING one. This is no easy task for coaches to accomplish. However, there are small tools that can be effective in fostering this culture.
Using the whiteboard to your advantage is one tool.
I come from a graphic design profession prior to coaching – there is true science and human behavior psychology around information design and information layout. Humans perceive visual hierarchy and importance (I’m not talking about pretty or legible handwriting here, although that helps). How we write the whiteboard and what we include on it can facilitate or impede buy-in to a culture of customization. You, the coach-author of the whiteboard, have influence over what and how members perceive the information if you take a few things into consideration.
What are we looking for in a whiteboard brief?
A whiteboard brief goes beyond merely reading the workout of the day. It is an opportunity to communicate intended stimulus/purpose, teach or demonstrate movement, identify points of performance, build community and rapport, check in on injuries, field questions, and more. That can be a lot to try and fit in without boring a class or going too long! When we critically evaluate our use of language, open-ended questions, and time management, we can hone the skill of knock-out whiteboard briefs and set the tone for a class loaded with value right from the start!
Maximizing our time and value during the whiteboard brief is a first step to fostering a culture of customization at your facility. We take a deep-dive into these variables and how to execute them in both the online Invictus University curriculum as well as our in-person Invictus Coaches Week, where you will utilize our evaluation form, observe our team of master coaches, and hone your own style while leading group classes and receiving feedback from our team.
Evaluating yourself and learning from your coaching peers.
You can improve your own whiteboard skills by observing 2-3 of your own coach peers run a whiteboard brief. Take notes on duration, their communication style and word choice, how they demonstrated a new (or familiar) movement, time-management, engagement with the class, and why it felt like a successful (or unsuccessful) brief. Observing others’ styles can bring awareness and creativity to our own habits. While the whiteboard brief seems like a pretty boring skill to focus on, in reality this is where a lot of value can be brought to class and a coach can set the stage for members seeing themselves in the programming.
Ready to level up your coaching? The first 2024 Invictus University cohort begins on Monday January 15, 2024. From December 1st through December 15th you can get 20% off of your enrollment using the code “HOLIDAY”. Don’t wait, sign up before the cohort fills up!