For the majority of CrossFitters, The Open is an experience, not a qualifier. Most of us aren’t going to Regionals or Games, but it doesn’t change the fact that we invest time and energy to participating. And knowing what mentality to have going into this worldwide event is important for anybody. Athletes register, wait for announcements, and try their best when it’s “go” time, but addressing what success means for a typical athlete is often neglected. So I’m providing top tips for guaranteed Open success for the “average Joe” athletes of the world.
- Define what your individual success looks like. It’s difficult to measure success if you haven’t defined a goal. The Open is a large-scale platform on which to measure your CrossFit performances and compare yourself to other athletes around the world. Having said that, there is no way to know what the workouts are, and if they’ll speak to your strengths or weaknesses. There is also no element of control with regards to other athletes’ performances. So set a unique goal for each workout once they’re announced. For some folks a goal may be as simple as participating in all workouts, and for others it might be time, weight, or rep focused. Just keep your gauge of success geared toward you.
- Attack each workout, then put it in the past. Giving 100% to each workout is an obvious, but there may be situations that demand a re-do. Sometimes strategy adjustments, or just getting a buddy to sweat next to you will improve results. Regardless of whether you do each workout once or twice, when you feel satisfied or time is up, don’t look back. While we can learn things from each performance, there’s nothing more you can do to change your results. Don’t bother being upset or feeling cocky about something that’s done, and commit your thought and energy only to what lies ahead.
- Be smart. The Elite of the world have something at stake when they participate in the Open. But most of us don’t. While the Open serves a purpose, it’s not worth injury. Pushing hard doesn’t mean pushing so far you’re forgetting fundamentals and form. Don’t be the dumbass that injures a shoulder because of shit form on a snatch…just for a better time in an event that really just provides you experience. Clean form will always win when it comes to consistency, performance, and injury prevention. And Open workouts are no exception.
- Have fun. For most people, the Open is so much more about community and experience than performance. Pouting after a workout like you just lost your spot at the Games, or screaming at a peers who are there just to give it a try are ridiculous reactions. Embrace the experience by supporting your fellow CrossFitters, committing to giving your all, and smiling regardless of the outcome for you or anybody else. Have fun knowing that you’re pushing your boundaries and the entire CrossFit world is sharing the experience with you.
At the end of the day (and The Open), it’s all about good workouts with good people. So sign up, try hard, have fun, and work through the year to improve upon your weaknesses. Then do it again. For an Average Joe, just participating is pretty cool. And with a good attitude, success is guaranteed.