You don’t become a champion and then start acting like it.
I recently listened to a business podcast that spoke about a Growth vs a Fixed mindset, then at that exact same time the Opens workouts were released. The timing was uncanny and immediately I picture two athletes. I love them both, and they are a pleasure to coach. The reason I thought of them was the stark differentiation between the two, one being clearly “Growth – Failure is an opportunity to grow” and the other being clearly “Fixed – Failure is the limit of my abilities”.
These are two direct quotes: Growth – I’m gonna try for my first HSPU during this one. Fixed – The standards are wrong. I could get more HSPUs if the standards were different.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. Alternatively, in a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and abilities can grow with time and experience.
The key characteristics of becoming a champion within this sport, and being an awesome person to be around in general, is to actively work on creating and enhancing a Growth mindset.
How to adopt Growth: Consider everything an opportunity to improve. If you take one thing away from todays blog, this is it. One of my favourite people in the world has recently used this particular point to grow herself into a bad ass. We have recently purchase a bunch of C2 rowers, which have allowed us to programme some awesome rowing into the regular CrossFit classes. This athlete hated rowing, but had a change of paradigm one day, and took every rowing wod as an opportunity to improve a particular aspect of her game. Everytime she got on the rower she would say “This is an opportunity to improve”, and smile. And, you know what happened? She got really really good at rowing. Last week we tested 1000m row time…and she ripped up! One of the first off the rower, and moved beautifully the entire time. Amazing.
Never complain. This is a massive factor of maintaining a Growth mindset, and is a key way you can spot someone with a fixed mindset. Recently, the CrossFit Games recently 18.4 which included Handstand push ups. You could draw a line through the two camps of thought and sort them into the “Growth and Fixed” groups. The ones with a Growth mindset looked at that workout and took it as an opportunity to improve and thought of the thousands of people around the world that would be getting their very first HSPU. Fixed mindset people took straight to Facebook to moan, complain and blame Castro for programming something that they couldn’t “win”. Then, the started complaining about the standards. Everything except asking “have I put in the work?”.
Complaining is like a fart. No one likes to be around you when you fart, and only your loved ones will accept you if you fart around them. Complaining, whinging or drama changes your mood and trust me, you will never reach your potential if you are surrounded by farts.
Focus more on Grit than reaching the goal. Having a goal is a damn good idea and helps you target your efforts towards a specific point. The thing that needs to go alongside that goal is the focus on “Grit”. Goals can move, and factors that are outside of your control can impact on your achieving that goal. One year, a monitor on a Concept 2 rower broke in the middle of a workout. The athlete sitting on the rower was Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and that one monitor made the difference between winning that wod and coming dead last. You have no control over this stuff. What you can control though is the amount of “grit” that you put in your training. Grit is the effort, really giving true intensity to your workout and recovery. Grit is holding true hollow position. You know the difference, showing grit during hollow position means you have tension from your fingertips to your toe nails, not just for the 2 seconds that the coach comes around to pressure test you. Only you know if you’ve truly shown Grit.
Remember that the journey is the destination. Track you progress over time, and record the wins. My advice is to create a page that only you have access to, and consistently upload your wins every week. This could be anything from “Came to the box three times this week”, or “Trained with my wife, while my kids watched us”, or “New PB today”. Take pictures, upload screenshots. Celebrate the bright spots in your life. Then, when you are feel like a massive boost of “feel good butterflies”, review your progress. Karli and I have a page that we have created for the two of us as business owners of CFW, and regular post up all the wins that we have. Then, on hard days when our energy is low, we flick back through all the cool times, and wins that we’ve had over the past five years.