It’s supposed to be a truism that great athletes don’t make great coaches. How can they understand what mere mortals have to contend with, when so much of what they have is a part of their DNA? This may not be true of one champion that we met recently. In fact, when Kristan Clever first got into CrossFit competitions, and when she was winning the 2010 CrossFit Games, she was her own coach.
But Clever, who seems shy and quiet in person, isn’t going around reliving past glories. Instead, she really comes alive when talking about the art of training. In particular, she is passionate about the gymnastics movements that she has excelled in for so many years.
Breaking Muscle sat down with Clever recently, as she was preparing for the VCF Training Camp in June, to talk about training. On the day of the shoot, Clever talked about the importance of body shape in bodyweight training: the neutral, arch, and hollow positions that govern your movement and position in so many different activities, from pull ups and muscle ups to handstands.
In the video below, you get the sense of appreciation that Clever has for these movements. Despite all the years and hours that she has put into working the basics, she has a good sense of the need to pay attention to fundamentals. She seemed most energized and animated when the spotlight was on discussing technique and skill building.
We can’t speak for all champion athletes, but Kristan Clever may be an exception to the rule. She is one elite athlete who can certainly coach.