The Open is finally over! So now what? Well The Open gave us a chance to compete or even just show us what competition through CrossFit feels like.  However, we compete more than you probably think.  If you are looking at other peoples scores and aiming to lift more, move faster or get more reps than them, then you are competing.  If you are aiming to PR or get a better score, believe it or not you are competing too.

Competition is great and all, and can help one to improve and push themselves past their limits but is it wise to always have that mindset?  Try thinking of a test for a class, how would we prepare (if we were all good students trying to pass)?  We would study, practice a certain area we need improving on or continue to read the same book or passage multiple times until we understood it. That makes more sense than to keep trying the test over and over again if you aren’t learning anything through the process.

Now let’s say Fran is the test, 21-15-9 Thruster and Pull Ups. You could do Fran once a week and probably get better at it, that may or may not work but, let’s say there was a better way to prepare. Instead how about working on your butterfly pull ups and trying to improve the amount of unbroken pull ups you can do or maybe improve your thruster efficiency so that way you don’t burn so much energy doing thrusters. Then in the long run, you become better at pull ups and thrusters as a whole, rather than just being good at Fran because you did Fran everyday, so when a workout like 19.5 comes along you are much better prepared for it. Aiming for the best possible score sounds great and all but how productive is it for you and your training?

Let’s say everyday you dissect a workout and devise a plan that involves breaking up the reps or going singles with all the lifting movements and boom you get the top score in the gym all the time with that strategy in mind for all your workouts. While on the other hand, you have one athlete you finishes maybe 5th or so every time but they have the mindset of, practicing bigger sets unbroken, learning how to move as smooth as possible with big sets on gymnastics or learning the mental toughness it takes to push themselves on hanging on till the last second. In the long run whose training do you think will pay off when it comes to test time?

In my experience, the athlete that has been through it all, who has prepared for any situation and can push it when push comes to shove, will be the one passing the test with flying colors. The test is over, the time for training is here. Aim to become the better version or yourselves everyday and don’t be blinded by the temporary light of the daily leaderboard and put your personal growth as an athlete in the back seat. Train hard and let’s show ourselves how much we have grown when the next Open comes on test day.