There’s such a psychological element to Crossfit and for many people, doing qualifiers once is enough. As a mindset coach, I always encourage people to see test situations as a great opportunity to learn and improve. Having a time to beat, or a score to improve on, gives heightened focus and purpose to training. It also provides you with competition experience, whilst testing your ability to adapt and perform under pressure.

Whether you are a top athlete, or just enjoying training, there’s so much you can learn from these experiences to develop and improve. I encourage you to squeeze out the learning from your test experiences to accelerate your progress and maximise your performance. Become aware if your reluctance to re-test is because you are psyching yourself out and follow the lead of top athletes by adapting a growth mindset.

One of the qualities of top athletes is the ability to have mental resilience, an attitude and mindset, which helps them to utilise feedback and make adjustments to their game. We call this ‘growth mindset’ and this leads to continual progress and improvement. They employ this way of thinking not only in competitions, but also in everyday training, it becomes a habit, a lifestyle, and it helps them to learn more easily. You may or may not be a top athlete, but if you want to make progress and overcome blocks, getting your geek on and into your ‘growth mindset’ will empower you and maximise your chances of success.

Here’s how to apply growth mindset thinking to get your best qualifying scores:

  1. Reflect on your experiences. Ask yourself, what did I learn from last time? Watch your qualifying video back, make notes, ask your coach for advice and apply your learning’s. Having the awareness and cultivating the ability to apply feedback is an important growth mindset trait.
  2. Allow yourself to feel more confident and reassured. If you’ve you’ve done the workout already your body has a path/ memory of the workout. Now you know that you can do it, where, before you may have questioned yourself. Allow yourself to feel more confident as a result of this previous experience.
  3. Choose your frame of mind. How was your mindset last time? Where you fearful or uncertain that you could lift all the weights or meet the standard? Were you distracted? Holding any of these thoughts in your mind will have slowed you down, impacting on your score. Your first experience will enable you to clear your mind so you can go even faster.
  4. Get a grip. Although it’s fashionable to be very dramatic in Crossfit (in complete contrast to my pokerfaced martial arts conditioning) you did not die and you will not die. As fun as it can be, don’t get carried away with all the drama convincing yourself with this shit talk. Reassure yourself that you are fine (self-talk) and your body will respond in a better way.
  5. You have nothing to lose. Who cares if you don’t beat your score? What does it matter? If you don’t like pressure then take it off yourself. If you’re the type who likes a target, then now you can pick your time- or someone else’s time to beat! (a debatable tactic – but that’s the nature of competition and a strategy which works for many.) Apply more pressure to yourself if you’re a sicko!
  6. Don’t psych yourself out. Don’t be all fixed mindset thinking and set yourself up to fail just to prove to yourself that you can’t go any faster. You need to commit! Now you have banked a time, why not go bonkers on the rower or hang onto the bar for longer. You may blow up, but then you will know that you are at your current limit. Try something new. Great things can happen when you lose your shit, and if not then you can enjoy indulging in the “I died” talk knowing that you truly deserve to use those words.

I bet you can do it again faster. Let me know if any of this advice helps you to break down those mental blocks in performance.

Photo credit: G.J.Smith