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A more in depth look at the mental side of Crossfit

May 19, 2009

This is a comment from Spencer Nix of CF Dallas Central, and a good friend of mine from my Strength of Mind post a couple days ago. He is one hell of an athlete and is also studying for his masters in sport psychology. I respect his opinions and liked what he had to say so i am going to repost it for ya’ll.

Let’s demystify the subject for a moment (and I apologize ahead that my thoughts don’t agree with some of the previous comments). OPT, Dutch, Thiel, Cantuu, Speal, Everett are not ‘Gods’. They bleed, poop, and sleep just like everyone else. So since we are all reading this blog to get better and to pinpoint what it is that establishes superior performance, it doesn’t help us (and it’s not true) to say “he never slows down”. Everybody slows down, everybody is human. I can show you videos of all the guys listed above crashing and burning (not often but its there). I mention that again, because I don’t think it’s healthy and I don’t think it helps anyone to say “oh they’re just good because they’re born that way” – Bullshit.

Now that we got that out of the way, lets try to analyze what these guys have in common and try to define what it is that they are doing, so we can do it to:

-THE MAJORITY SPEND A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF PRACTICE ON THEIR MENTAL GAME. How important do you think mental preparation is for competition? 50%? 90%?? Do you spend that amount of time in comparison to your physical training? There is a radio interview of OPT where is talks about taking about 2 hours the night before and a good hour and a half thinking about it before he gets into a workout like ‘Jackie’. Jeremy I hear goes through a similar prep.

-THESE GUYS ARE FOCUSED ON THE PROCESS NOT THE OUTCOME. How many of you guys out there are ‘stop-watch whores’? You put out a sub 3 minute fran but half of your thrusters you didn’t push your head all the way through, and 10 of your butterfly pullups were technically over the bar but not really? These guys aren’t like that. I get to workout with dutch pretty regularly and ALL his reps count. He is focused on the execution of the rep and not really the stopwatch. OPT – same way; look at all his videos and read the ROM requirements on the blog (borderline obsessed with the process). These guys focus FIRST on doing the movement flawlessly and SECOND on the clock. If your goal is to be the stud of your garage or gym, then this might not pertain to you BUT if your goal is to compete, then this has to be your mindset.

-EXPERIENCE. How did Dutch know he could do 50 burpees in a row? It’s not because he told himself before “you can do it buddy” it’s because he had done 50 burpees in a row before!!! He knew what it felt like! Everyone of those guys he mentioned in the original post workout and workout ALOT. Guess what? All the guys listed do this for a LIVING. Every one started crossfitting before there were 1000 affiliates, before there were 500 affiliates. They have all competed on some level in the past. That’s thousands of hours of practice. It’s not just “well, I’m going to tell myself not to stop and that means I won’t stop”. Its primarily that they’ve all been in a similar situation. Everyone has had their ass handed to them multiple times. Everyone has crashed and burned;they are used to pushing passed that limit, so that feeling or response isn’t new either (sorry dutch).

So what is the point of a post that has gone on and on?
*Train your mental game more. That might be visualizing the movements before you do them it might be going through the whole workout before it happens. Do what you do consistently.
*Think about doing everything perfect and stop worrying so much about the clock. Shut your brain off and enjoy the process.
*If your goal is to compete, then you better put yourself in some situations that are similar.
*Consistently train what you would hate to have come out of a hopper. Dutch says he only “trains what he likes to do” but I’ll share a little secret with you guys: HE LIKES PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING! (except running)

I have a post coming about the CF Football cert last weekend so stay tuned!!
Also…


Where: Crossfit Tulsa
When: May 23, 2009 (the day after my birthday!!)

No Comments

  1. Polo Lopez
    May 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    Great post. I’m going to link this on our forum. This should be required reading for any new and even some veteran CrossFit athletes.

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