Jami Tikkanen: Movement is the basic currency of life.

Words: James Shaw

Are your thoughts of a coach linked back to school days of Physical Education, someone who you don’t feel a connection in supporting you in your quest? Have you ever questioned exactly why you are doing something in the first place, other than to do it because you have been told to?

Is there a desire to jump through the basics so you can get to the “fun stuff”?

We have heard variations on these themes many time. Whilst expressed uniquely by each individual, the answer comes back to a commonground that regardless of discipline movement shares a foundation of principles from which to grow from. Putting the time in is ultimately the way to improve, clearing the path to facilitate this is often ignored with a rush to get doing the cool stuff.

Catching up with coach Jami Tikkanen ahead of his preparations for fine tuning his athletes competing at the CrossFit Games we spent a few hours catching up on the often overlooked foundations to success in any endeavour. Talking freely across topics we capture Jami’s knowledge into starting points for you to discover and connect your own dots.

Tikannen Takeaways

Training is often about doing the effective minimum dose to keep the development moving forward and progressing rather than regressing. Know yourself through practice.

1 – Develop the hard skills. It is never easy but it lets you play and enjoy yourself.

2 – Accept that pain is part of the process. Not something that you should run away from but rather something you look towards because it is going to make you better through developing awareness of when to progress or ease off.

Practice with intention. You can’t multitask, it doesn’t work and that single realisation would make a lot of people better. Find the one thing.

3 – Be ok with not being very good in the beginning. By starting you are developing neurological pathways that are developing the brain for the next time.

If you can turn what you are doing into a game it’s going to bring you more enjoyment and fun. Intention and fun are not mutually exclusive. If you really want to have fun then it requires you to have the basics down. It is ok to just play around at something but you are not learning how to develop so much.


About Jami Tikkanen

Jami Tikkanen is a Coach, Osteopath and lecturer. He is the founder of The Training Plan, a movement based programming site for CrossFit athletes, and co-founder of Reebok CrossFit Thames in London, UK.

Following him competing at 2009 CrossFit Games European Regionals, Jami began working with elite level CrossFit athletes in 2010 as an osteopath for Mikko Salo (World Fittest Man 2009) and coach to Annie Thorisdottir. He continues to coach Annie who has since won the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth” twice (2011/2012). In 2012, Jami was given the privilege to coach Team Europe at the first ever CrossFit Invitational against Team USA.

Aside from working with athletes, Jami travels the world as part of the CrossFit HQ seminar staff where he acts as a Flow Master at L1 and Coaches Prep courses. His personal philosophy and passion in life is to create environments of success that allow athletes and coaches to reach their full potential.


"The most important this is that you do move.

Movement is the basic currency of life."