The Challenges of Training: A Competitive Mindset


The Challenges of Training: A Competitive Mindset

By: Paul Amato

When you walk into the gym what is the first thing you do?  Usually everyone checks the workout of the day (WOD) and/or the leaderboard to see how their friends did earlier in the day.  Then you get ready to begin your training session.  Whether you realize it or not, your training session started long before you entered the gym.  The moment you began thinking about your day you began your training process.  Your attitude, level of excitement, and overall demeanor whether positive or negative about what is planned for you will have an affect on your ability to reach your maximum potential. 

It goes without question that everyone wants to walk into the box, hit some killer numbers on their lifts, and absolutley crush whatever the metabolic conditioning (METCON) for the day is.  But how BAD do you WANT those results? Do you want them bad enough to ignore your fear of that extra 10lbs on a shoulder to overhead movement?  Do you want them bad enough to just do what your coach tells you, instead of always just saying “No, I’m not doing that”?  These are the types of questions that you need to have a serious sit down with your brain and decide.  How bad do you want to be better?

The competitive mindset starts at your very first thought of training, it is expressed through your attitude and your willingness to do things you don’t like.  These are the sacrifices that successful athletes make without question to become WINNERS.  Just because you can’t hit everything you want to do today, or because the gymnastics skills are to advanced for you today doesn’t mean that you suck or that you will never be good enough.  Instead, your training days are giving you a road map of how to get better!  Learning your weaknesses, confronting them, and not letting them defeat you are key.  If you take the option of saying “NO”, or the option of saying “I CAN’T” out of the equation I can promise you that you will quickly reach new PR’s and goals faster than you ever imagined, but as long as you allow those to be options then you will never amount to anything of quality in a competitive realm.  

Your mind is your most powerful tool and you all have shown that you have mental strength. If you didn’t, you can certainly bet that you wouldn’t be doing CrossFit in the first place.  Not every day of training is going to be a great day.  The best athletes in the world have bad days, your parents have bad days, and yes even you have bad days.  So, forget about em! they are going to happen and when they do just let them go, move onto the positive.  One of my favorite tricks for getting out of a funk of a bad day is to do something I know I’m good at and that I enjoy doing.  Just getting that little boast of self confidence back can quickly turn an entire day of training around.  Take the small victories; that extra pull up, or the two seconds you shaved off your Fran time, and that extra 2 reps of unbroken chest to bar pull ups.  

The competitive mind doesn’t allow a weakness to defeat it.  The competitive mind uses weakness to fuel its motivation to reach new heights.  Be the unbreakable, the unbeatable, and be undefeated in your mind because there is never a time you should say to yourself that you CAN’T.