3 Lessons Learned From the First Regionals Weekend
3 Lessons Learned from the First Regionals Weekend
1) You Must Have A Good Team To Succeed At CrossFit Events
You must have a good team to succeed at events. If you don’t have a strong team, then it will not be possible for you to win. There are many factors which go into your success or failure at any event:
• Your training partners: These guys/gals are what make your dreams come true! They are the reason why you want to train every day. However, they need to be motivated and ready to work hard.
Equipment: What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have a proper gym set up? Are there enough machines and weights available for your needs? Will your training partner’s equipment be sufficient for the event?
Nutrition: How much protein, carbs, fats and other nutrients will you consume during the week leading up to the event? How much water will you drink? How many gels and drinks will you take with you?
Sleep: What time of night do you sleep? When do you wake up in the morning?
Time: Is your schedule flexible enough so that your teammates can get to their events on time, even if they are late due to school or work schedules? How much time will you allot to travel?
These are all important questions that you should answer before you start training for any event. If any one of these elements is missing, then your team will struggle to succeed.
2) You Must Know The Rules Of The Event Before You Go
One of the most frustrating things as a competitor is finding out that the actual rules of the event are different than what you thought they were. You need to know all of the rules before you go, so that you are prepared and don’t get surprised.
One example I experienced was at a competition where we needed to do chest-to-bar pull-ups. Three of us thought that half of the competitors would do one height and the other half would do the other height. This was not the case. All competitors had to do the same height.
This would have been a little bit frustrating, but still manageable. The issue came when we realized that the height was set too high for most people to reach. As a result, we spent the entire time trying to jump up to the bar and most of us ended up with bloody knuckles. If we had known the rules in advance, we could have adjusted our strategy to something else (or at least worn gloves).
3) You Must Be Able To Adapt Your Strategy On The Fly
Things don’t always go exactly as planned on the day of the competition. There could be equipment failures, events that take longer than expected or other unforeseen circumstances. As a result, you must be able to think on your feet and make changes to your strategy as needed. This could mean adjusting the order of the events or it could mean dropping out of an event entirely.
A great example of this is a story that my multiple team member Chris Faber likes to tell. It seems that he was at a competition where the pull-up bar was set too high for anyone to reach. As a result, nobody was able to do any pull-ups except for the winner of the event (who just jumpped up and hung from the bar before dropping down). It was still a victory for him, but it would have been much less impressive had everyone been able to do even 1 or 2 pull-ups.
4) You Must Be Able To Deal With Potential Injuries And Discomfort
The likelihood of getting injured during a competition is very high for some of the events. For example, running can lead to shin splints, biking can cause pains in your butt and back if you’re not used to it and there’s a lot of pulling and pushing involved. If you’re in an endurance event, you could get stomachaches or cramps. Other events will test your grip strength and could cause blisters or other skin irritations.
You need to condition your body for these types of things in advance and be able to push through the pain when it happens.
One of my favorite stories about this comes from team member Kelsey Calhoun. At a competition in Illinois, she was doing an event where she had to hold a rope at a specific height for as long as she could. The problem was, the person before her didn’t know how to do that. So, the rope was way too high and Kelsey got a backache trying to reach up that high.
She tried to stretch it out a bit, but it still hurt. Eventually, her time was up and she had to move on to the next event. Allowing herself to relax for a few moments, she finally got the pain to subside and was ready to compete again. She told me that it was one of the most painful things she had ever done, but she wouldn’t have wanted to let her team down by dropping out.
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