When learning a new skill, we go through four distinct phases of competency:
4 Phases Which I Like to Think of in These Terms:
1. Introduction to New Skill: First time seeing a skill (e.g. a Snatch)
“WTF is this? Like this….? Do I really need this skill?”
2. Theoretical Understanding: Ability to see how it works “in theory” but inability to replicate it correctly.
“Well it makes sense in theory, and when (s)he does it…”
3. Focused Competence: Ability to do the skill with concentration and focus.
“I got this….just let me set up…hang on…”
4. Confidence/Proficiency Under Pressure: Ability to perform the skill well enough to do it safely in a WOD and meet the movement requirements.
“Well, it wasn’t pretty, but I got the lift…”
The thing is, once we learn a skill and are able to do it Rx in a WOD, we often consider it “mastered” and move onto bigger/more exciting things. Except that getting better isn’t always about learning new skills; it’s also a matter of improving/fixing the foundation.
For most of us, our CrossFit starts in some sort of an OnRamp or Foundations program during which we are introduced to the basic CrossFit movements. At this point it’s not so much about perfection as it is about the ability to replicate movements safely, and once we can demonstrate that, we are allowed to proceed to more advanced skill(s) e.g. move from the air squat to the wall ball, thruster or back squat.
However, even as we progress and become
- fitter, and
- more bodily aware,
it never hurts to go back to the basics and apply our increased knowledge and skill to become more efficient at them.