The 3-Step Formula to Improve Your Coaching (Step 2)

by Shawn McQueen, Two-Brain Coaching Mentor

Part 2 of 3 part series! See here for Part 1.

#2 Improving COMMUNICATION & Speaking Skills

Last blog we spoke on the level of preparation and how that is a separator. 

Today we are going to cover how to improve one of the most important areas of our lives:

Our communication and speaking skills. 

We are going to communicate every single day of our lives. 

And as coaches, to truly be effective, lead, have respect and properly and influence diverse groups of ages, abilities, backgrounds, personalities we MUST have excellent communication and speaking skills. 


We’re going to break this section down into three parts:

1- Understanding our own limiters/fears. 

2- Developing a system for our Whiteboard Brief Delivery 

3- Using what I call the CART method while class is underway. 


What’s your level of awareness with each teammate’/coach’s fears when it comes to speaking or their own identity? 

And how this affects them on the coaching floor, with interactions and ultimately how they perform under your business. 

I’m not your team’s team leader and within 5-10 minutes of getting to know one another they are opening up about their limiting beliefs when it comes to coaching.

“I lack confidence because I don’t look as fit as some of the fittest people.”

“I lack confidence because I can’t even do some of the movements.”

“I lack confidence because I don’t fully know all the movements in and out.”

“I lack confidence because I was just a classmate of theirs, now I’m at the front of the room.”

How important is that to know and understand? 

To acknowledge their feelings. 

To respect what they are going through, internally. 

The monkey on our back (our own limiting beliefs or story we tell ourselves) greatly shapes how we speak, how effective or ineffective we are. 

As Owners, we first must create a safe space to allow them to share these vulnerabilities with us. 

We then must have awareness and understanding around them.

What actions could these limiting beliefs cause them to do? To not do? 

And how we do we best help them overcome them. 

That’s part of our job as Owners and team leaders. 

If you aren’t sure how, I recommend you go through the Two Brain Group Coaching Course yourself and on our (3) 60 minutes mentoring calls we can deep dive how to effectively lead your team away from limiting beliefs and move them towards confident men and women who are professional leaders within your business. 


The first place we communicate with everyone is at the whiteboard (or if your new-age, the TV.)

This sets the stage for the day. 

Can either be a place of clear, well spoken and organized guidance speaking to all 3 archetypes within our classes or an undesirable 3-5 minutes of too much information, spoken at rapid speed, with too many filler words (“ughh” “umm”) that creates more confusion, chaos and questions than anything. 

It has the power to put the coach in a state to even sink into an “okay” or less than ideal class. 

And do you want your business to have “okay” or less than ideal classes? 

I know you don’t, so let’s tackle how to IMPROVE our Whiteboard Brief & Delivery.


=Systemize it (see below how)

=Speak in RELATABLE and easy to understand TERMS. 

=GUIDE them on how to ACHIEVE the best WORKOUT for themselves (speak to each archetype indirectly.) 

=Talk like you CARE about THEM more than the actual workout. 

=Communicate like you’re one of them, because you are (ie: “this is going to challenge US” or “our target range is to complete the work within 4-5 minutes.” 


we teach at my gym, Railroad CrossFit & at Two Brain Coaching:

Brief Order goes as follows: 

  1. Brief the Workout of the day As Is
  2. Cover: Stimulus/What to expect 
  3. Let them know the: Target Ranges (never one fixed target)
  4. Teach them: How to Pace/Strategy 
  5. Provide: *Adjustments/Customizations 
  6. Optional if necessary: Logistics 

*Communication with adjustments and customizations is CRITICAL. 

It’s NOT “if you can’t do pullups JUST do ring rows…” 

It’s “if aren’t quite there yet with pullups let’s adjust to ring rows today to work our upper body pulling..” 

-Why Use This System & Sequence? 

It creates a fluid, organized and universal cohesive understanding.

Eliminates guesswork, confusion or chaos on the floor. 

You get ahead of future questions, have given them the map how to succeed which you’ll reinforce throughout the class. 

-What are the Benefits? 

Everyone gets the information needed in an organized manner, that’s easy to understand and sets them up for success.

They naturally funnel themselves into where they need to be because the Coach did a great job of framing them of what’s expected, what we’re after, how to get there and the best way to achieve that and how and where to customize. 

They have greater experiences, workouts and get greater results. 

And ultimately they FEEL better about themselves and the experience as a whole and that’s what should be top priority.

PART 3: USE THE CART METHOD (when class is underway) 

CART is an acronym I created that stands for:


Appreciate, Acknowledge, Anchor 

Relationship Building questions 

Touch (professional, non coaching) 

While class is underway a Group Coach has MANY responsibilities. Safety of each individual is a given. Beyond that they are leading, managing, teaching, improving, adjusting, you name it. 

We can better serve our members, meet their human needs, their specific goals within the gym better and keep clients longer by embodying the CART method while class is underway. 

The CART method is the unique balance of 

Coaching: improving movement quality, strategy to optimize results, putting in safe positions, reinforcing cues, improving movement efficiency. 

Appreciate, Acknowledge, Anchor:  Calling to light what they are doing RIGHT or well, reinforcing correct movement/actions/behaviors, acknowledging specific things about them they did good or improved upon. 

Relationship Building questions: asking questions to get to know the person better, fitness or non fitness related, the answers better help you understand their beliefs, values, what’s important to them and who they are so you can better coach/lead them. 

Touch (professional, non coaching): professional physical contact like a high five, fist bump, elbow bump, pat on the back. Pair this with an appreciation, acknowledgment you double down on two for one. 

Most people would guess the ratio of coaching should be MUCH higher than it needs to be. 

While I’m NOT saying to lower how much you Coach your people, you’re not dealing with machines. You’re interacting each day with human beings with feelings, with human needs.

One of their needs is to feel seen, to feel important, to feel significant. 

Best applied is when we view our coaching as a lifetime pursuit where each day we want to make them a little bit better and coach them say 3-5 focused coaching cues throughout the class but double that in what we notice they are doing right, well and improving upon. 

Why? So they know they are improving, they are doing it right, they are succeeding and getting better. That they are recognized, seen, important and that we respect and admire their effort. This keeps them coming back. Not that you cued them 47 times. 

We must alsof find the right times and places to build upon our relationship with each member through questions. Easy places to start are in regards to how things feel with certain movements, how their weekend was eventually getting deeper to what’s really important to them. And fun questions, those always keep the mood light 🙂

And some folks need to be touched to know they are loved, that they did good, that you are proud of them so ensure you build the habit of making a professional physical contact 1-3 times within class. 

Here are 4 examples: look over them and I’ll explain what happens more in detail below: 

BRIAN 0000

Brian received 0 coaching, appreciation, interaction/relationship building or physical touch. If this were to go on for days or weeks, what could Brian begin to tell himself about your service/coaching? 

“It’s not worth it. He doesn’t get seen. He doesn’t get coaching. Why should I even go?’

Check out Chris! Man, he got A LOT of coaching today.  Paired with little appreciation and no relationship building or contact, what could Chris tell himself if this were to continue for weeks and months and become his experience? 

“I suck at this. I’m never going to get it. I am always doing something wrong. He becomes defeated, unmotivated and eventually could throw in the towel.”

Look at Jennifer, zero coaching and all the appreciation and acknowledgement without much else. What could she tell herself if this becomes her experience with your service? 

“The Coach’s are cool, workouts great but I don’t really need coaching.” She begins to think she’s got it all covered because she no longer receives feedback/coaching and eventually could begin “her own thing” at home. Costing you another member. 

But if you look at Mike, this is the gold standard. 

Mike received up to 3 coaching/feedback points during class, double the appreciation/acknowledgement for what he’s doing well/right, a few relationship building questions as well as some high fives and fist bumps for a job well done. 


Most Owners and Coaches aren’t aware of the discrepancies we all can have. How the skew can affect the individual’s experience or the patterns coaches can fall into. 

Now that we’re aware, you must begin to practice and implement. 

Get the team together again, discuss the CART method and how you can all improve your coaching, relationships and interactions with everyone. 

Coming Next:

Part 3: TEAM FEEDBACK & De-Briefs: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

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