The curse of knowledge.

Many coaches struggle to explain things to athletes since they get lost in technical jargon.

They use anatomical terms, discuss energy systems, and give people fifteen different things to think about.

They “prematurely optimize” someone’s movement before they even have the skills developed at all.

They force people to do endless development drills without allowing them to try the movement that they’re working on – making all of the pre-emptive technique work contextless and boring.

But, great coaches are able to prioritize and simplify – all while keeping things fun and engaging.

Ben Dziwulski from WODprep has a knack for knowing how to explain things to people without getting lost in the weeds, and he also has a knack for understanding his clients.

This episode isn’t just about CrossFit. It’s about understanding how to communicate what you know based upon a deep understanding of the psychology of the people who you’re talking to. It’s also about understanding repeated iteration in complex fields like coaching and business.

Check out the full conversation with Ben to learn:

  • How to simplify your message and speak to people in terms that resonate with them – and how to find the right balance between what they want and what they need in coaching.
  • How to understand what a market actually wants and what people will pay for – as opposed to just what they say they want.
  • The power of focusing on one thing at a time – and how people get in their own way by bouncing around too much.

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

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Show Notes:

  • [01:30] True expertise comes from being able to explain things simply and prioritize effectively – how Ben avoids the “curse of knowledge” and breaks down coaching cues in ways that people can understand and relate to their goals
  • [07:30] Consistency is more important than perfection. When learning new skills, it’s much more important to start somewhere, work on figuring out a basic level of competency, then iterating over time.
  • [12:40] How to understand what a market actually wants and what will pay for – as opposed to just what they say they want. And some miscalibrated predictions that Ben has made throughout WODprep’s history.
  • [23:00] The danger of going it alone when learning new things: People tend to want to either skip steps, or they will think they have to check off an endless list of prerequisites before they even attempt the thing that they’re working on. Having a coach can eliminate both of these problems.
  • [31:24] People are motivated to do silly things both by blindly copying others and by trying to increase their status in their group. Plus, two stories of CrossFit heartbreak including Ben doing an Open workout with a sever staph infection and Gary Helmick breaking his ankle right before Regionals.
  • [41:54] Everyone understands that you should spend some time training your weaknesses, but how do you honestly look at yourself and figure out what’s holding you back? For many people, the lack of consistent focus and being willing to tackle one thing at a time is a bigger issue than anything else.
  • [47:10] What has been changed and iterated on with WODprep in order to better help people? The value of making things simple and having clear step-by-step instructions in order to increase compliance, hiring great people and giving them autonomy, and giving more options and avenues for clients to communicate with coaches.
  • [58:00] Sign up for Ben’s newsletter – and the new WODprep course on hip mobility

Links and Resources Mentioned