11875240_10153604431653033_5989714045541292116_oThe 2016 CrossFit Open starts this week and we know our gym is ready.  We have been programming for the Open for the last several months and we know you all will do great however I would like to offer a few tips I have learned over the last few years.

Each week, I am going to post a tip to help you do your best this year.  This week’s tip is FOCUS. One of the easiest things to do in a workout is to loose focus, to let how you are doing in the workout, good or bad, get the better of you. If at any point your attention drifts from the immediate task you are performing, your performance will suffer.

I know personally that I have lost focus and started thinking about how I did the last time I had done the wod or looked around to see where other people were at in the workout.  These things did not help me, only distracted me from actually doing the movements and ultimately slowed me down.  So here are a few tools I learned to maintain focus:

Have a plan, be confident in that plan and execute the plan.  Having a plan also helps you pace through a workout and pacing is key in every workout whether in the Open or just your regular daily wod. Ben Franklin once said, “he who fails to plan is planning to fail”. Don’t fail because you didn’t have a plan.
10945863_10153604430103033_1420439238423066610_oHave a mantra, a word to cue your attention back to the workout. Words like “stay”, “now” or just “go” are short and to the point-motivational! Don’t use long winded terms or sentences like “you can do this”, “don’t be a quitter” or even Will’s favorite, “don’t be a p#s%y”!  They are not motivating and they distract you from the task at hand.

Have movement specific cues to push you through the workout.  “Punch” for the jerk; “snap” for the muscle up or “brace” for the fist pull of the clean. Again these cues keep you focused on the workout, the movements and keeps you from drifting your focus.

Visualize/rehearse the workout in your head. Run through the workout, rep by rep, in your mind visualizing how you will break up the reps; chalk up; and when to kick it in high gear to finish the wod. This is a great way to develop your plan and build confidence in that plan.

16.1 will be released Thursday night so start thinking about your plan and how you will keep focus as soon as it is released.  Wake up Friday morning and review your plan, visualize it and then execute it Friday.  If you maintain your focus, and only focus on the things you CAN control, you are one step closer to knocking 16.1 out of the ballpark!