Over the past years programming for competitive fitness athletes, we have had the pleasure of living vicariously through some incredible athletes, both on and off the proving grounds.
Yet through the years, we have also seen a number of trends and outcomes with athletes who are challenged by their own perspective on what competition means to them.
We have seen athletes with a lot of belief and this, combined with a solid work ethic and self-made opportunity, helps them escalate their performances.
But we have also seen athletes whose work ethic and lack of self-belief lead them to compare themselves to others constantly. Athletes, whose personal self-worth stops them from seeing the joy in victory – even though we say ‘stay humble’ – and challenges them physically, proving them unable to perform to their best on the day.
It’s difficult to watch continuous athletes unable to prove their full potential and embrace the moment on the competition floor.
Yet it all falls back to mindset; whether by chance or purposeful change. If you are one of the athletes who is holding themselves back, here is our advice on checking in with yourself and working on making the most out of this season and beyond.
‘FALSE EXPECTATION WILL END YOUR WORLD BEFORE ANY WORKOUT WILL’
Are you comparing your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 20?
There are zero benefits in leader-boarding unless you are in the top percentage and redoing a workout to maintain that opportunity to compete in the Games. And even then, the healthier option is to leave the leader-board-watching and strategy to your coach.
Ask yourself: is focusing on the leader board bringing the best out of me, or is it bringing stress? If it’s the latter, make a decision to switch your focus and let go of the time spent and habit of leader-boarding.
Acknowledge your own progress and take note of where you can improve.
There’s a simple mindset tool you can use. After every workout, write down exactly:
- what went well
- what could be improved
- what would you do differently next time
- where can you improve a skill
- how are you going to apply that in training
RECONNECT WITH YOUR WHY
You choose to train and you choose to compete.
Sometimes, when emotions are high and irrational, the pressure we put on ourselves takes over and we forget why we do what we do, and what we love about it.
To purposefully take 15 minutes out to sit down and write out your “why” can reconnect you emotionally.
Have you focused and developed in these key areas of training, so you can cash out on game day?
As an athlete, have you sat down and given focus and time to those areas, and developed a process on how you are going to purposefully develop in each one?
If not, that’s okay. The open process highlights where we can improve and it’s also an opportunity to seek growth from the bottom. Then, you have the power in making a decision to learn and develop in each area, either via individualised coaching, seminars, reading, etc.
IT’S HUMAN NATURE TO SEEK INSTANT GRATIFICATION
Try and remember that what’s built to last doesn’t come fast. It’s important to have clarity on your goal.
Having a clearer understanding of what you are striving for – and its time frame – allows you to assess yourself healthy in the process.
‘AN UNHAPPY JOURNEY DOES NOT LEAD TO A HAPPY DESTINATION’
Make a deal with yourself to give 100% effort of what you have. Then, take the athlete-cap off and de-load with purpose. Have a day’s rest, disconnect from social media and reconnect outside of CrossFit by scheduling in time with friends and family. Do activities that don’t involve being the athlete.
The purpose of any competition in sport and life is to develop mentally and physically in a way that makes you better, not bitter.
Limitless Coaching – Emma Hackett is the founder of Limitless Coaching and a Mindset Coach