The 2015 CrossFit Open brought about more excitement and development than last year, which leads me to believe it will only get more fun and competitive in the future.
The Open season is a great time for a coach to reflect on their athletes, the coaching, the programming, the physical gym, the behind the scenes as well as the their own performance and goals. I consider the end of the Open, sort of like the New Year…..
To our Athletes
Great job folks! I’ll start with that. Everyone did such an incredible job this year during the 2015 Open. Everyone achieved new levels of fitness and the pack grew a little bit stronger…okay okay…a lotta bit.
What I found more interesting about this year’s open, were individuals who discovered new abilities. Not PR’s….but new abilities. I’d like to draw a comparison:
A PR or PB is a new weight, max rep, or time that was achieved as result of hard work and programming. These are obviously extremely important and act as milestones for one’s progress and development along their athletic career. But what about abilities achieved as a result of…..simply just trying it? Taking a crack at it? Giving it a shot?
Of course individuals with a richer background in athletics and fitness may be more “well rounded” and certain things may come easier, ie. muscle ups, T2B, etc. (usually gymnastic movements). But overall, I believe people are capable of way more than they’re aware of.
That is why the Open is so great. It presents ultimatums that force people out of their comfort zone. There were many times during the Open that someone discovered a new ability and since discovering that ability, can now exploit the hell out of it. Improve it. Make it faster. Make it heavier. PR that shit. Whatever.
Obviously improving a ring dip will have some carry over into your bottom position in a muscle up, but I don’t credit that position for someone who achieved their first muscle up during the Open. It was the choice, or rather the lack of choice, and the opportunity that made it possible. For someone who spent all of 20 minutes working on MUs prior to the Open, to say I PR’d is slightly out of context.. Conversely, someone who can string together 5 MUs, and works accessory progressions and strengthens different parts of the movement, retests, and strings together 10 MUs....that’s a PR.
The important thing is, everyone discovered a new found ability. Something that was hiding in the shadows of doubt. Something that scared them. The fear of failure. The fear of uncertainty. Yet against all odds and the unknowable, people persevered.
The Open forces people to conquer the unknowable and to visualize the unforeseeable. That is when the magic happens.
As a coach, sometimes it is important to step back and just let people be. I’m not talking about a class setting where coaching proper form and technique are paramount. For example, the other day during open gym, I had to tell myself to just chill out and let people play. There was a group playing around with bar muscle ups. They know the progressions and are very competent at CrossFit. My first instinct was to go up and cue them. I stopped myself and just let them figure it out. And they did. Two people got their very first bar MUs during open gym that day. They obviously had a good understanding of the movement, and had been practicing frequently. But the point is to let people have fun. There will always be time for training with purpose and discipline. But there needs to be a time to play. So as coaches, recognize the athletes who don’t always need to be harped on or cued and let them have fun with the more complicated stuff. More than likely, they’ll usually figure it out.
Continue to challenge yourselves. This is entirely subjective. For some, it means working closer to the Rx, or increasing training frequency. For others it means training with people that scare you. Heck, eating better is challenging and should be considered in the same light as improving your front squat. It takes time, and discipline to get results. But keep at it.
We hope everyone is looking forward to another year of growth and gains, both physical and mental.
2015 will be an exciting year and we’re excited for everyone to be a part of it! #growthepack #wolvesofwellington