The room is abuzz. The class coach is reviewing movement standards for the recently released Open WOD. Next to you is your judge, eyes affixed on the demoing athlete, taking note of the points of performance for each movement. Your judge has a pencil in one hand and a clipboard in the other. On the clipboard is an official CrossFit Open 2014 Scoring Sheet with your name written at the top.
S*#t just got real.
As the bellowing call of “3, 2, 1” fills the room, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment; to let your emotions consume you, but don’t let them. Instead, focus on the following seven keys to performing your best in the Open WODs.
- Harness your adrenaline. With the music blaring, your judge counting, and your friends cheering it’s easy to let adrenaline take over but if you do your tank will be empty well before the clock strikes zero. Therefore, don’t your adrenaline dictate your pace. That’s your brain’s job.
- Have tunnel vision. Peripheral vision can be to your detriment during an Open WOD if you’re eyeing the wrong athlete. If you’re a “steady mover” and you begin to pace a “sprint-and-rester” it’s not going to end well for you. Your best bet is to focus on you: your breathing, your pace, your strategy.
- Remember YOUR game plan. You’ve spent time researching, analyzing, and creating your plan for this workout. Don’t let what others say or do influence that plan.
- Know when to adjust. While this may seem like it contradicts #3 it actually doesn’t. There may be times when you need to adjust your plan but let it be because it’s in your best interest to do so not because someone else has a different plan for you. Maybe you thought you could sustain sets of 10 wall balls but your shoulders and legs are more fatigued then you anticipated. Then by all means, adjust that number to 5s.
- Expect to be “no-repped”. And when it happens, don’t be upset with your judge. It’s their job to hold you to the movement standards. If they don’t the Open competition is compromised. When it happens listen to their critique and adjust. Don’t look at it as a lost rep; instead see it as the reminder you needed to improve your form and your performance.
- Finish the workout. When the clock strikes zero be on your back in puddle of your own sweat. Know that you pushed yourself to your limits. Have no regrets.
Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, the Open is truly an experience. For some it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of training, an opportunity to compete and earn their way to Regionals. For others it’s a test, an assessment of one’s growth and improved fitness from their days in boot camp to the present. For each and every one of us, it’s a chance to celebrate our love of CrossFit by doing what we love to do: working out together.