As many of you have been hearing for several weeks, the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is upon us. If you have participated in the Open in previous years, you have some idea for what is in store. If not, you will be in for a treat. Every Thursday night for 5 weeks, CrossFit HQ will release an unknown workout as the first step in the CrossFit Games. Every Friday, we will all do these workouts. For all of us, these workouts will push us to our limits in different ways – strength, skill, aerobic capacity, endurance. Regardless, the workouts will combine to form a test that is a good identifier of each of our individual strengths and weaknesses. Here are some suggestions for how you should approach the Open from a mental perspective in order to achieve your best possible outcomes and to maintain a positive mindset through the challenges.
Before the Open
Go into a quiet room where there are few distractions. Take a piece of paper and pen. NO PHONES. Sit quietly and take a mental inventory of where you are going into the Open. Are you feeling beat up mentally or physically? Do you have outside commitments like a work trip or project that are taking up your time and attention? Are there movements that really cause you to struggle? Conversely, are you feeling strong? Have you just hit some new PR’s?
Once you honestly assess where your strengths and weaknesses are, you can begin to set some goals for the Open. For most of us, completing all of the Open workouts as prescribed is a huge achievement. Maybe finally hitting that muscle up, chest to bar, or pull-up you have been so close to getting is part of your goals. If you are having trouble setting some quality goals, speak to a coach, and we would be happy to help.
During the Open
Once the workouts are announced, you need to make a plan. Have an idea of how you will pace, break up movements, organize your equipment, warm up – the devil is in the details. After creating your plan, find a quiet moment and visualize yourself going through the workout. See yourself successfully executing reps and breaking up. If you see yourself encountering a problem, visualize what you will do to successfully overcome it.
After all the planning and visualizing, all you will need to do is execute your plan. Complete an appropriate warm up, organize yourself, and stick to your plan. Fight to maintain a positive mindset and give your best effort. Tell yourself to keep going and that you will finish your game plan. If negative thoughts creep into your mind, squash them quickly and focus on the task at hand. Do not give yourself an opportunity to creep into negative self-talk and doubt. If you feel like you want to re-do a workout more than once, talk to a coach to decide if that is the best course of action based on your goals and opportunity for improvement in that particular workout.
After the Open
Assess how your Open went. Did you meet the goals you set for yourself? Did you give maximum effort each week? Did you stay positive through any setbacks that may have happened? What do you want to focus on improving in your training going forward? All of these things should be thought through and discussed with a coach.
Remember as long as you give maximum effort each week and maintain a positive mindset, the Open is an extremely positive test for improving overall fitness.
Best of luck to everyone in the Open, and I look forward to seeing you all at Friday Night Lights!
The way you do one thing is the way you do everything,