As we head into the 2018 CrossFit Games Open, here are some pointers to set your mind in the right place and maximize your experience in the greatest community party of the year!
The number one most important rule of The Open is to HAVE FUN!
It's important to maintain our perspective that CrossFit is the fun part of our life. We're here to hang out with some cool people, crank the tunes, bust our asses, and high five when it's done. For 99.99999% of us, competing in CrossFit is not our job. Our jobs are stressful and we get paid to put up with them. Unfortunately no one is going to pay us for how well we do in The Open, so we shouldn't take on an unpaid stress! CrossFit is where we de-stress, not take on more. If you find yourself fretting over the leaderboard or getting too wrapped up in scores, comparing to others, and wanting to re-do workouts take a step back and realign your approach.
...and speaking of re-doing workouts...
One and Done
Getting too wrapped up in the scores and needing to repeat workouts to prove something is to lead with your ego. Repeating the same workout within the span of a few days is not smart training. I personally have been down the road of obsessing over the leaderboard and re-doing workouts two or even three times in order to eek out a few more reps or shave off a few more seconds. I would end up taking more rest days than usual (gotta be fresh ya know) and by repeating the same couplet or triplet over and over, end up doing basically no useful training each week. Where this ego-road leads, by the end of the 5 weeks of the open is: (1) hating The Open (2) being less fit than when you started. Those are not good outcomes! So set your ego aside and take ownership of your performance. Put forth your best effort the first time and own it.
Since The Open is the end of the competition season for 99.9% of us, treat your Open performance like it's your own CrossFit Games. Come in ready to throwdown! Everyone, at some stage of their competition, will be held to one and done. At the CF Games, an athlete doesn't get to come back on Monday, after everyone has packed up and gone home, and re-do an event because they weren't happy with their execution. They simply have to live with their first effort, and so should we.
To scale or not to scale
Workouts are scored in The Open such that even one rep of the RX version is ranked above a zillion reps of the scaled version. If it is at all possible (and safe) for you to take on the challenge of the RX workout, you should. The Open is great for pushing you out of your comfort zone and getting you to try new movements or heavier weights than you normally would choose. The first pull ups, first muscle ups, snatch PRs, etc are the truly magical moments each year.
While a workout that is extra-challenging might have you moving slower than usual, that's ok! The choices we make on Game Day are different than the choices we make in day to day training.
The scaled version is also there if the RX version is not possible or safe for you. Choosing the scaled option can be just as challenging and tough! Often the scaled down movements will have you moving faster and getting much more work done, pushing you to work super hard.
The Role of The Judge
The Open is powered by the work of the community. By participating in The Open you will be giving your effort to your own workout, to supporting your fellow teammates, and probably to the role of judge as well. A judge in The Open has two important roles (as defined by CrossFit's Online Judges Course):
To keep an accurate count
To uphold the movement standards as laid out by CrossFit HQ
In order to focus on keeping an accurate count, the role of the judge is not to be a cheerleader - that's what the teammates and spectators are for. The judge is also not responsible for coaching the athlete or critiquing the quality of their movement. There are plenty of coaches on hand to handle that job.
When you take on the role of judge, your gym is putting their faith in you to uphold the standards. When they validate a workout that you have signed your name to, they are literally putting their affiliate license on the line. Giving someone a no-rep when they aren't meeting the standards is not mean - it's necessary, and letting a bad rep slide certainly is not nice - it's actually just dishonest.
When being judged
Make it your goal to move as cleanly as possible so that you LEAVE NO DOUBT (principle #3 in my gym) in your judge's mind that every rep was legit. Make their job easy and give them nothing to question. If they do have to give you a no-rep, the proper response is thank you (not F&%$ You haha)
Always thank your judge when the workout is complete!