"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
- Thomas Jefferson
Several of our Incognito athletes are about to embark on their first competition that does not happen inside familiar or friendly confines. At least that is how I imagine it must seem to them.
We had eleven of our athletes compete in the 2014 Crossfit Open and many have visited other boxes with us or on their own and even competed in fundraising events like Barbells for Boobs. But this is a different animal. There will be lots of strangers and they will be putting lots of pressure on themselves. This is kind of a unique situation because the Thunder Throwdown was designed by CrossFit Thunder in Huntington, WV as a beginner’s competition.
They know all of the workouts and each component has been tackled over the past few weeks. The workouts are not what will get you…your mind will. All of the movements are certainly something all of our athletes can do. They do them all the time. Burpees, Rowing , Front Squats, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is the pressure everyone will put on themselves. How you need to prepare yourself mentally is a very individual question.
You need to think of yourself over the next seventy two hours. What do I need to do? Some will need to actually skip our workout as scheduled and maybe do one of the workouts that are making them nervous. Do it then. Some will need to not think about what is coming on Saturday and just have a good time training and pushing themselves as usual. I fall into this latter category. I like to put blinders on, so to speak, and just do the work put in front of me when I get there. That way I won’t worry about it.
Whatever you need to do now is the time to figure it out and talk to each other and your coaches. Preparing two weeks in advance never seems to solve anything. Preparing a couple days in advance does certainly seem to calm the nerves. Take care of that last little thing that is bothering you so you can be as relaxed as possible on Friday night and get a good sleep.
I do have sympathy for you. My first competition was the 2010 CrossFit Sectional at the Arnold Classic in front of thousands of people. I had no idea what the workouts would be or if I was going to be able to actually do it all. What saved me was my ability to block out my surroundings and then a funny thing happens…you just go like hell. I was really nervous, I made a mistake in the first moments and it cost me. But it was over and I just chased people down. It became just another workout and the state of readiness took over. That will happen to you, I promise.
Do what you need to calm your nerves over the next couple of days and remember that you are athletes and you will respond in the moment. You are trained for it.
- Scott Landrum