I was a multisport athlete growing up and played four years of Div. I basketball. In all of my years of athletics I never once won a practice. I’ve been trying to find someone who has. I’m still on the hunt for that person. Many of our athletes that are coming in are experiencing their first real exposure to any sort of training regime. For some athletes CrossFit Rife is their first and only exposure to any sort of physical competition. Not everyone played sports in their youth. Not everyone understands the intent of training and what “practice” means. Admittedly I can understand how the environment you may walk into could pull you in and suddenly have you competing to have the top name on the whiteboard. Peer pressure is a real thing.
I’m not down playing the value of competition in any way. There is arguably no way to reach your peak potential without some degree of competition. Without it we would undoubtedly fall well short of our best effort. The trick is dialing in when we “compete” and when we “practice”. Competing every day is unsustainable in any sport. There should be a disproportionate amount of practice vs. competition. Too much competition can lead to burnout, CNS and adrenal fatigue or potentially higher rates of injury.
So how do you address this and start teaching yourself to practice?
STOP TRYING TO WIN!!
First and foremost an athlete should determine what the intent of the training session is. Is it technique? Is it to hit certain sets or reps? Or is it just to not think about winning? If you are having difficulty with the concept ask yourself what it is that you are winning? If you aren’t in a league or competing for money then there is no record or prize to compete for. So just be content with training and not having your name at the top of the leaderboard or having the best IG post.
If you are trying to win everyday, you are losing. The best athletes in the world know themselves better than anyone and they target their training sessions to improve the most mundane skills or seemingly simple tasks. They aren’t trying to win practice everyday. They are simply trying to move the needle even the slightest bit.
Here are a few tips to help rid yourself of the desire to “win” everyday:
-Determine what the goal is. Set a quantifiable goal and put a timeframe on it.
-Define what “winning” looks like based on the goal you set.
-Start setting a daily intent for each training session. Don’t try to move the needle too much.
Stop trying to win your practice sessions everyday. Set you sights on winning whatever your game day is.
If you don’t have a specific event to train for or a competition, then pick a day in the gym to compete. Your mindset and intent on that day will look and feel very different than your training days. And it should!
Keep training hard and hit those weaknesses.
Jason Fernandez is the Owner and Head Coach at CrossFit Rife is CF-L3 Trainer and CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff member