Box Development February 21, 2019

Coaching the Pregnant Athlete


Let’s face it, there’s a big stigma around training pregnant women. Coaches often feel clueless as to how to train this population. What they miss in those sentiments is that training a pregnant person is no different than training an individual who must modify for an injury or avoid a movement because of an upcoming competition.
Here are four things you can do to support athletes at your gym who become pregnant.

Send them an email with a collection of resources.

When an athlete lets you know they are pregnant, send them an email with a collection of resources for them to review. It’s a good idea to include practical knowledge, such as a resource on scaling, as well as videos and interviews that they can review.

Meet with them.

Similar to how you might meet with an athlete who is coming back from surgery or time away from the gym, a 30-minute meeting goes a long way in helping an athlete feel supported in this new phase. Use the 30 minutes to share and review resources and answer any questions they may have. This is also a good time to ask the athlete how they might want to handle letting the staff and members of your gym know about their situation. Depending on how far along they are in the pregnancy will often determine how public they want to make the information at that time.

Communicate to coaches.

Once you’ve met with a pregnant athlete and they have given you the OK to communicate with your staff, send the athlete and coaches an email letting everyone know what is going on. This is a great way to put everyone on the same page and make the athlete feel instantly more comfortable as they come to class.

Keep track of trimesters.

It’s important for coaches to continue to ask athletes what trimester they are in. While this information is often known by the athlete, the coach may not keep track without asking. It’s important to know this information as guidance on scaling and modifications can change throughout the pregnancy

Sample Email to Athlete with Resources

Here’s a sample email you can send to athletes with a list of resources for them to review.
Dear (Name), 
We are very excited for you and this next phase. Here’s a collection of resources that you might find helpful. The big one to note is the second article on modifications and scaling. This will be the most practical piece of information for you during this time. 
Once you’ve had a bit of time to look over the resources below, it would be great to have a short meeting so we can answer any questions you may have and get on the same page for the months ahead. 

Here’s an article on pregnancy and training that reflects our approach:
Here’s a link to a scaling and modification guide for CrossFit and pregnancy:
Here’s a video CrossFit did on a pregnant Mom: 
Here’s a Podcast on pregnancy and CrossFit