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Introducing the CFH Coaches Development Program (CDP)

Here at CrossFit Heerlen, we chase excellence and strive towards offering the most complete strength and conditioning program we can for our members. Next to that our focus is to give our members the best hour of their day and our mission; to help our members become happy, strong and healthy. This includes providing valuable and world-class coaching.

What is the CDP?

Photo (ft. Coach Manfred): We are passionate about our members and coaching

Of course, this relentless pursuit requires us to have well trained, professional coaches who can not only cover the specifics of movements and coaching methodologies, but also communicate clearly with groups, control the flow of a class, and understand the deeper side of coaching. CrossFit Heerlen’s Coaches Development Program (CDP) is lead by owner and head coach Danny Plesz. Through trial and error, education is constantly happening during the CDP and the concept is simple: chasing excellence.

Photo: Coach Danny – Box Owner & Lead Coach CDP

Together with his wife Thessyana he has four years of experience of being a box owner (read: general manager, teamleader, facility manager, business development manager, employer, etc) which serves him well. He is also the head coach of CrossFit Heerlen. He completed a teacher’s degree, provided special education and motivational training to convincts in prison in an earlier career, and he completed CrossFit’s Level 2 course a few years ago. Besides that he read and studied everything CrossFit, attended specialty courses, completed several fitness training certifications and master classes of renowned coaches and box owners. Like Sean Manseau – author of By The Numbers and one of the first and most experienced CrossFit coaches in the world, and Ben Bergeron – box owner and the world’s most inspiring coach according to Danny himself. This experience have become the backbone of much of what he teaches his own students during the CDP now.

“You don’t hire great coaches. You hire great people & develop them into great coaches.” – CrossFit Heerlen CDP

Because Danny and his wife Thessyana saw and experienced that every gym and CrossFit box (including coaches) is different he wanted to develop coaches who embody CrossFit as a lifestyle – not only as a competitive sport, and who have a deeper understanding of CrossFit Heerlen’s training philosophy and core values – including CrossFit Heerlen’s Coaching Standards. That’s why they introduced the CrossFit Heerlen Coaches Development Program (CDP).

Photo (ft. Coach Nadesch): The Role of a Coach is to educate, entertain and inspire

Goals of the CFH Coaches Development Program:

The end goal of our CDP is to develop knowledgeable coaches and leaders who can organize and run CrossFit classes, provide valuable and world-class coaching and instruction on athletic movements, and communicate proficiently with groups of students. We’ll develop this by:

· Providing CDP participants with a chance to improve their understanding of CrossFit from the point of view of both an athlete and a coach.
· Giving CDP participants a “peek behind the curtain” of what it takes to coach, teach, and run a successful CrossFit gym.
· Creating an environment where CDP participants can grow and develop their knowledge, experience, and skills as athletes, coaches, and human beings through a hands on approach.

Photo (ft. Coach Quinten): The Coaches Trinity – Knowledge, Empathy and Communication

What is it not?

The CDP is not a replacement for CrossFit’s Level 1 Course, a guaranteed spot on CrossFit Heerlen’s coaches team or a new program at CrossFit Heerlen. We’ve had the CDP around for some months now, and as a member you’ve probably already seen some of the positive effects of the program like a fully equiped class room where coaches and interns can grow and develop their knowledge, experience, and skills. Maybe you’ve seen our current CDP participants attend classes, lead mock-up classes, maybe they already discussed some content with you or you may have stumbled onto our CDP meetings on Saturday afternoons… the reason you’re hearing about it now is, we kept CDP limited to a small group of hand selected members who were chosen based on our internal hiring procedure and their own level of interest, and they just finished the first phase of three, the Beginner Coaches Course. Now, we’re starting phase 2, the Intermediate Coaches Course, which will involve more practice on the gym floor.

Photo (ft. CDP Class 2019-2020 – not all present on picture): The Deeper Side of Coaching

We will also start sharing news and content on our website and social media regarding our Coaches Development Program after we’ve introduced it now. This will benefit our members knowledge too. For questions and/or comments contact

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