Debriefing The Open: Now What? –Coach Chris

922992_10202084820500900_1547108185_nWOW 14.5 is in the books and with it the 2014 Crossfit Open is complete.  Now that your scores have been entered it’s time to reflect on your experiences.  Whether you’re a veteran or a CrossFit newbie, the Open can provide you with a wonderful learning opportunity if you allow it to.  With this in mind I give you nine things to do now that the Crossfit Open is over.

1.     Relax.  For some the Open has been a stress-filled five weeks.  While the physical toll of the workouts was great (i.e. 14.3), it was easily surpassed by the grueling mental toll.  Scouring the web for YouTube strategy clips, developing and revising WOD game-plans, hours spent “leaderboarding”, holding internal debates about whether or not to hit the WOD again: all of it has left you exhausted.  So take a deep breath and relax.  Take some time and reconnect to competition-free CrossFit.   

2.     Celebrate your successes.  Each of us has a least one victory to celebrate from the Open. Maybe it was your first double under or chest to bar pull up. Maybe it was an improvement on your performance in the very first Open workout or a deadlift PR. Maybe it was entering the Open in the first place.  Whatever it was, be sure to celebrate your successes.  You’ve earned them. 

3.     Use your struggles as motivation.  It’s also quite possible that the Open was a frustrating experience for you too.  Your double-unders might be spotty at best.  You may not have toes to bar or muscle-ups.  If so: don’t worry!  You have 300-something days to work on these.  This brings me to…

4.     Update your “Sucks List”. We all have one but now’s your chance to revise and update it.  Once you do…

5.     Create a plan to address your newly updated “Sucks List”.  Updating the list is only the first step.  Next, create a plan of attack.  How often will you work on these movements?  What’s barring you from success?  Strength? Mobility? Practice? What can you do to address these areas?  Need help formulating your plan?  Then ask a coach!

6.     Work on your “Sucks” Regularly.  This may mean hitting one less WOD a week but, in the long run, it will be more than worth it.  Instead of hitting class you may spend 15 minutes in double under practice, move on to a 10-minute EMOM of 5 toes to bar, and end with 20 minutes of banded mobility work. Each “Suck Session” may be the most important hour of your week. 

7.     Adopt Open standards in each and every one of your workouts.  The movement standards for the wall ball are a below parallel squat and hitting the target.  Always.  Every day.  So hold yourself to those standards.  Allowing yourself to cut corners on movements or, even worse, shave reps, does nothing for you or your Open aspirations.  View every workout as a training session for the 2015 CrossFit Open.

8.     Compete at least one more time in 2014. Now that you’ve had a taste of the most convenient CrossFit competition there is, make it a point to compete at least one more time in 2014.  The more you compete, the less stressful competition is.  The less stressful it seems, the better you’ll perform in next year’s Open.

9.     Set Long Term Goals for the 2015 Open.  It’s no secret that the Open will include many of the same movements next year.  For the most part it’s designed to be inclusive and to identify those athletes that “deserve” to make it to regionals.  So, work on your deadlifts and doubles, your chest-to-bars and your toes-to-bars.   They’ll be back!  But the good news is if you take this approach, you’ll be ready for them.

With hard work, commitment, and a tireless pursuit of virtuosity, let’s make it our goal to create stronger, healthier, fitter, faster, more coordinated, and more skilled versions of ourselves as we prepare for the 2015 CrossFit Open.  That training begins today.

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