I have received many questions as of late regarding my thoughts on forming “competition teams” within a box. I wrote about this almost a year ago, and my stance still has not changed. Although, I believe there is a place for “competition teams” as they are all well and good, and I totally understand what they are trying to accomplish, I am not a big fan of them. I do believe in the old saying “don’t knock it until you have tried it,” so just to be frank I want those to know that I have tried it in the past. I have witnessed a CrossFit run with and without a “competition team” and have come to the conclusion that I don’t like them, per say, for a variety of reasons.
For one, I think it is dangerous to label people. Even though we use the whole “check your ego at the door” stigma within a CrossFit, let’s face it, people have egos. In labeling a CrossFitter as a competitor or not, and having tryouts for your “competition team” you are labeling an athlete as being good or not good enough. You can still compete in CrossFit without being on a “competition team.” Every box owner can agree that CrossFit is 100% about community, however when you label a “competition team” you are in essence dividing that community. Whether you want to or not, you are establishing clicks within your gym. Although, you may try with all your might to make sure this does not happen it will happen regardless. It is human nature. Having your competitor’s workout at different times in their own “competition” based classes, or having competitors in one part of your gym, while your general fitness athletes are on the other can be toxic. What can be a goal for some can be extremely intimidating, or stressful to others. Some people know they will never compete nor have the desire to do so, but having those “elite” athletes doing and practicing skills that they may never do or learn can make them feel left out. This may seem like a great idea but you’re consciously dividing your gym. There now is no camaraderie within your gym, and although you try hard to keep it, it will still slowly shift away. A lot of reasoning behind the “competition team” is that a coach feels his competitors should be doing more advanced wod’s, skills, and lifts compared to everyone else. My argument to this concept is; isn’t CrossFit supposed to be universally scalable? So if you program a wod for your advanced athletes shouldn’t it be scalable down to your lowest level athlete? We at Precision love competition, so much in fact that we want every one of our athletes to compete against one another, regardless of level, day in and day out. We even have an epic battle board and all. Heck we do almost every competition out there and bring a crew to compete and cheer everyone on, but we do not have a “Competition Team.” Everyone in our box is considered an athlete. Let’s face it; you have to have some degree of athleticism in order to do CrossFit. We believe every member is a part of our “Team” and can compete whenever they wish. All we ask is that they let us know in advance for two reasons. One, so we can prepare them and two, so we can be at the event to coach them when they do compete. We never have an athlete compete in a competition without a coach and we strongly believe that!! For those that want to compete, yes extra work is required. However, that can be done on your own time as competing within class against everyone, no matter the level, makes you better because it is all relative. It also helps create a stronger community. While, one member may never want to compete they still get to wod day in and day out with that member who always does. They get to workout with that “elite” athlete and maybe even beat them on occasion. It will help them feel that much more involved in that athletes success in competition, because maybe that day when they pushed that elite athlete to their limit it possibly made all the difference in that competition. It helps them feel like they had some kind of involvement in that athlete’s success, and also brings them down to they’re level. It makes them want to cheer on their buddy while they compete because they feel as if they can take ownership over part of their success and that is what community is all about.
As a coach, I do separate programming for all my competitive athletes who want to put in the extra time to get better. In fact, I customize individual workouts plans for each of them. However, one thing I will always tell you is I don’t care who you are. You can be a Regional level athlete shooting for the Games, or a 62 year old retiree who just wants to get stronger. I will write something up for you to accomplish your goals, and will stick with you until you do so. We have 1 Masters Games athlete, 8 proven Regional Athletes and several soon to be Regional athletes all with one thing in common. They wod with the main classes and they put in the extra volume on their own time. They push it to the limit everyday with their community; they stay after and hit their additional lifts, skills, or wod. I want everyone to compete with each other no matter the level. I want to prepare all our members compete at life or prepare for that 5K, triathlon, or indoor soccer season.
Right now competing in CrossFit is all the rage so gyms creating “Competition Teams” seams to make sense. However, sooner or later people are not going to want to compete anymore for one reason or another, or there will be fewer competitions. Then all you will have is CrossFit, pure CrossFit, your box, your athletes, and your community. I choose to focus on my community as a whole not divide it.
-TOGETHER WE ARE ONE
500 M. Row
25 Muscle Snatch (Can be done with PVC or bar)
15 OHS Squats
5 Min. of Shoulder Mobility
6 MIN. EMOM
3 / 5 Strict Pull Ups
Power Snatch + Hang Squat Snatch
5 @ 60%
3 x 5 @ 65%
TEAMS OF 2:
3 MIN. AMRAP
Snatch (165/115) (155/105) (135/95) (115/75)
10 Calorie Row
10 Alt. KB Snatch (70/53) (53/44) (35/26) (26/18)
*Each person will do 5 Rounds. One will start on the rower and the other on Snatch then will switch as they finish each movement.
**Score is reps plus the total time minus 3 minutes.
Roll and Stretch