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The Open Mindset

Ryan Devries
February 9, 2023
5 min read

With the Crossfit Games “Open 2018”  starting, it brings excitement to boxes around the world. It is a great time of year to reflect as an athlete and appreciate how we feel compared to previous years.  The intent is always to remain positive and have fun in the Open, but midway through a workout we sometimes find ourselves staring at the bar and thinking “I’m not as fast as I should be. I should be doing better.” This is a dangerous story we tell ourselves and it can become debilitating.

Like any competition most athletes get wrapped up in the scores and numbers which easily builds stress. Coach Mitch has been leading the FirePower Mentality program for the past several weeks prepping athletes on how to battle negative thoughts and setting your brain and body up for success.  I had the opportunity to sit with Coach Mitch and ask why he thinks athlete’s build stress around competition and how to combat it. He informed me that we feel this way because we're trying to fit ourselves into a framework that doesn't fit us. The dissonance on what we can and can't control is what we need to eliminate.  

Goal setting shouldn’t be about hitting numbers or a specific score.  Rather, we should shift our focus internally to set a goal as to “This is how I want to feel during the workout” or “I want to work on keeping my feet together when skipping.” Giving ourselves a feeling to aim for or an actionable step allows you to be happy with your performance regardless of the outcome.

Goal setting is more of an approach to Coach Mitch.  He advises that heading into a workout you should ask yourself  “Why do you love Crossfit? What does Crossfit give to you? And put that in the forefront of your brain and then do the workout. The purpose of this is when you hit the wall or mentally can’t push anymore - this feeling, idea, or fact must cause a physical reaction that allows you to move.”  

BE EXCITED about what you've accomplished during your time at CrossFit! Don't get hung up on things like not being able to string together toes to bar or not having the perfect squat snatch. Instead, appreciate the time that you've been able to spend together with friends and family at the gym and what you've learned about yourself.

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