Don’t assume fitness levels for new athletes. Regardless of how ‘fit’ they look, gauge their movement and ability during the warm-up sections.
Take advantage of small class sizes. When a one-on-one teaching situation is available (class of 1 or 2 people), feel free to use the time to dial in the mechanics. I was able to get into squat therapy with an athlete, because of the class size.
For 95% of the time, first timers should be scaling. We had one of the largest classes to date with 4 new athletes as guests, but I completely forgot that just because they ‘look’ more in-shape that the rest of the room, it doesn’t mean they have the capacity or skill to do well in the workout. I was too overwhelmed with the class logistics due to class size that I completely forgot to scale movements/load for those athletes.
Have a watch that can function as both a stopwatch and clock. When the gym clock is used for a clock, use your stopwatch to keep track of time during warm-ups or timed portions. When the WOD is happening, use the watch to keep the class flowing as to not bleed into the other class time.
Triage movement cues. Be wary of overwhelming the athlete with too many cues in one day. Unless it’s a dangerous position under load, get them to focus on one correction at a time. Give positive feedback on the correction, even if other faults are present. Some athletes that receive multiple cues may feel like a failure.
Remember to teach the setup position for warm-up movements. Reinforce points of performance for these movements as well.
Prior to class, set up the room to accommodate modifications. Usually the room will already address the WOD movements, however the choice of modification varies between coaches. Ex. Getting boxes or bands in place for pull-up modifications. This will speed up set up times during class.
Water breaks! Athletes need transition triggers and time to hydrate. Usually after general warm-up and before the WOD.
Volume control on background music needs to be adjusted for different sections of class. Quieter during teaching portions especially. And pump up the volume during the wod!
Some athletes may require direction to skip the workout today and just do mobility. Ex. An athlete came in that’s been having a nagging knee injury for over a week, but has come to class consecutively for the last 3 days. Although they’ve been doing modifications, it’s necessary to restate the importance of rest, recovery, and mobility.
Make deposits into the athlete-coach relationship account. In the large class size, I quickly remembered 4 new names and was able to give positive feedback with their names. It’s better than just saying generic pronouns. People feel a stronger sense of accomplishment and recognition when they hear their name.