Michael Brownfield- CCP Level 1 Coach

Not long after joining the affiliate I met with the owner to determine if there was an opportunity to join the coaching staff.  I started with shadowing classes and gradually took on more responsibility at the gym until I gained the confidence to lead sessions on my own.  I attended the CrossFit Level 1 course in 2010 and also the CrossFit Weightlifting course later that year as well.  In 2011 I made the move to my home state of Nebraska to open the third affiliate in Omaha.  It was a leap of faith that included quitting my job, selling my house, and loading up all of my belongings in a U-Haul truck.

My college education was in the field of business and I found OPEX (OPT at the time) when I began taking the NPE business systems courses offered by Sean Greeley.  The main focus of my training and investment in the NPE curriculum was to grow my business and to ensure that I was operating as effectively as possible.  During my coursework for NPE I saw a post for the CCP certification that was available for coaches that were interested in continuing their education, growing as an individual, and bringing value to their clients.  After the initial consultation to learn more about the program I made the decision that I wanted to invest in myself and complete the Level 1 course through OPEX.  There were quite a few available options for continuing education, but the reputation of OPEX and the leader of the organization made the decision very easy for me.  I knew that it was a significant investment of resources to choose this path, but the years of research and experience that James and his team bring to the certification held more value to me than a weekend course that provided a participation certificate.

Reflecting on the expectations of the modules when I started the CCP program, I believe I was most excited to learn about program design.  In my mind that was where the “magic” would be found so I could improve my programming abilities and deliver a long-term program for my group classes at my gym.  After attending the onsite seminar for Program Design I made it a goal to immediately implement the concepts that we were taught during the time at OPEX.  Looking back this was a little premature.  In hindsight I would have placed more emphasis on designing more programs for myself and for my coaches prior to delivering to the group classes.  It has definitely been a learning process and I feel that I have improved in my coaching from the early days of implementation with all of the great information that is delivered in CCP.

The module that surprised me the most and has impacted my role as a coach and leader of coaches is definitely the Life Coaching module.  The role of Life Coaching impacts my role as a business owner, coach, husband, and OPEX client (EC with Coach Robin Lyons).  The skills that we practiced and discovered in this module from Coach Sharon and Coach James are utilized daily in my interaction with individuals regardless of the situation.  Once I returned from the onsite course I was able to implement many of the elements into our consultation process with our existing clients as well as the initial contact that we have with prospective clients that are beginning their training with us.

The primary objective that I wanted to achieve from CCP was to add value to what I offer to my clients and to grow our business by offering a service that other facilities didn’t provide.  The market has expanded significantly where we are located and I felt that my clients deserved to have something more to deliver to them through exercise, nutrition, assessment, and consulting services.  Secondary objectives included learning more about the “what” and “why” involved with coaching and training that would allow me and my coaches to connect with our clients on an individual level.  The other goal that I wanted to achieve was the ability to share this information with my team of coaches and provide them with the opportunity to grow as a professional in this industry.

The Life Coaching module and the Case Study requirement to complete the CCP had the most impact on self-actualization.  A big part of coaching involves giving of yourself to clients for their needs.  While this is a significant element of the job, I learned that I need to be more present for my family.  No longer will I just bring home the leftovers of myself from a day at work.  I have also learned that there are certain areas of the business and coaching that I enjoy more than others.  Identifying the roles of my team to fill these areas most effectively is an ongoing process and will continue to evolve.  Finally, I remembered how much I enjoy the process of learning and being surrounded by people that are willing to challenge the status quo.  Next up…Level 2.

My timeline to complete the CCP was longer than what I had anticipated.  Life happens and the journey to finish was extended more than I initially expected.  However, I believe I was able to better understand and implement the principles and practices into my business and training more effectively due to the longer duration required for completion.  The biggest achievement I have noticed from completing my CCP Level 1 Associate Coach designation is clarity.  I know what I want to be as a coach and what I want to be as a client in the EC program.  I understand more fully what areas of importance mean the most to me and provide fulfillment.  The trust that I have gained with my coach and the staff at OPEX is difficult to describe.  The ability to discuss challenges with professionals that have walked the same path is one of the best parts of this journey.  My wish is that I would have begun this chapter in my professional development much sooner.  But, the clarity gained during the last 2 years has provided me with a much better vision for the future of what I want to deliver and provide for my family.

Currently, my goal is to share my experience with my team.  I am investing in our team’s education because I am a true believer that this is the answer for coaching development.  This is a very important part of the direction for our company because there are a lot of clients that need the service that we can deliver.  It would be impossible to meet that demand without a team of coaches that are properly trained to implement the skills into programs for our clients.  Duplication of ability and skills will provide us the opportunity to expand beyond the typical model that many gyms employ today.

I believe the confidence gained through the CCP curriculum has empowered me to make decisions that sometimes go against conventional thinking.  We began as a traditional CrossFit facility and only offered group classes because that is how I learned and what I knew to be the best model at the time.  When I became a “product of the product” and began having a coach program my design in the Exclusive Coaching program, I believe I really grew as an individual and that translated into more application as a coach.  Trusting that this method is a better way for longevity, we launched our individual design program at our facility and have recently added Fit Bot to assist in delivery to our clients.  I believe this will be a great platform for us in the future to deliver to our clients.

My love for coaching goes back to my graduate assistant position for my alma mater after completing my college football career.  I took the business route after graduation but remained active in my own training.  While the cubicle-life provided for a stable career, I knew something was missing.   In 2009 I was introduced to CrossFit in Sioux Falls, SD.

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