Learning from the Elite: Bleacher Lessons from the Central East Regionals

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Learning from the Elite: Bleacher Lessons from the Central East Regionals
During an afternoon of CrossFit internet reading, I came across an article in BoxLife Magazine called “5 Reasons to Attend a CrossFit Regionals Event.” (Wait…only 5 reasons?) Going to the Games this year was out of the question (scarcity of tickets, travel, time off work, didn’t qualify, etc.), but I decided to get a seat at the Central East Regionals in Cincinnati. The drive to the event wouldn’t be bad — only a bit over four hours — and tickets were $20 a day. Why not?

I learned a lot from my trip to Regionals. And I’m happy to say that most of what I learned I can apply to my daily WOD.
We went on Saturday to watch Events 4 & 5. I was pulling for local athlete Will Moorad, and I was really excited to see CrossFit athletes in action. The day was inspiring, and I plan on making it a yearly trip.

One of the cool things about the Events is empathizing with the athletes. You may not have qualified for Regionals, but if you’re a CrossFitter and you’re watching, you’re feeling the pain. But you also can’t watch bad form without commenting, watch an athlete walk without shouting for them to run, or watch time run out without yelling, “HURRY!”

I learned a lot from my trip to Regionals. And I’m happy to say that most of what I learned I can apply to my daily WOD. Let’s start with what I need to work on the most…

1. Wear Your Game Face.

Wear Your Game Face.
In Event 4 (which was made up of strict handstand push-ups, front squats and burpees) many of the athletes came off the handstand push-ups already looking exhausted. Shoulders sagged, chests heaved, heads were down.

These athletes were not out of the running yet, but you could read defeat in their body language — even from where we were sitting. This trend was more noticeable in the lower-ranked athletes, and I can’t help thinking there’s a strong correlation between body language and performance.
Rich Froning has such a strong game face that when he comes in second, you believe that he meant to come in second…it was all in his plan.

Think about this:

Next time you’re mid-WOD and you’re tired, you’re hurting, and there are way too many minutes left on the clock… throw on your game face. Get back in control. You got this. Get those shoulders back, get that head up, and go. Make that last rep as good as the first one. Finish strong. If nothing else, determination looks a lot cooler than resignation.

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