After four years of using a traditional whiteboard in all of their CrossFit® classes, CrossFit Palm Beach recently decided to do away with it. They have replaced it with Zen Planner for digital attendance and workout tracking, and are happy they made the switch.
While they loved the physical whiteboard and believed it offered several benefits, they ultimately felt they could provide more value to their members by switching to an automated version. This was something they went back-and-forth on for months before finally making the switch. If you are thinking about making the switch in your box, here is the thought process they followed that ultimately convinced them to change, and might even convince you to do the same.
HOW THEY USED THE WHITEBOARD
For the last four years, their process of using the whiteboard has pretty much stayed the same. At the beginning of class, one of the coaches would write everyone’s name on the board. This would usually take place in the minutes before class as people arrived or during the warm up. At the end of the workout, members would walk up to the board and tell the coach their scores and whether they did scaled, RX or RTG, and the coaches would record their score next to their name. This process generally took a few minutes before class and a few minutes at the end of class, and was mainly the responsibility of their coaches to perform and enforce.
WHY THEY LOVED THE WHITEBOARD
1). Helped coaches remember names. There is something magical about writing a person’s name and score on a whiteboard that helps you remember them in the future. Remembering and using people’s names is such a huge part of building a strong community, and the physical whiteboard definitely made this easier.
2). Helped members get to know one another. They found that members would learn the names of other people from different classes, even before they had actually met them, simply because they consistently put up similar scores as one another. The early morning classes never had this luxury, but it was something the afternoon members greatly appreciated.
3). Guaranteed way of measuring progress. While they always encouraged people to track their own scores, the physical whiteboard guaranteed that they would have their scores saved so they could revisit them in the future. They would always take a picture of the whiteboard at the end of the day and post it to the website blog. This allowed people to pull up scores from old benchmark workouts, even if they forgot to record it themselves. As we all know, measuring progress is a huge element of CrossFit®, so they loved this aspect of the whiteboard.
4). Provided a quick snapshot of what to expect. It was easy to walk up to the whiteboard later on in the day and see a summary of all the times and scores from that given day. This gave people a general idea of what to expect from the workout, as well as a goal to shoot for. It pushed members just a little bit harder. As Greg Glassman has said many times before, “people will die for points”. Many members have expressed how much harder they have pushed just because they know their score was going on the board to be seen by everybody. Accountability is huge.