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Play The Game. Play To Win.

By August 29, 2008 3 Comments

One thing that I find fascinating and frustrating is that some people do not want to understand the rules of the game. I sometimes think it is my fault but I have seen it happen in so many other places to so many people that I believe it cannot just be me.

Nobody goes to a basketball game and wears soccer cleats and begins to kick the ball around. Right? Obvious.

However, many people show up to their jobs and play on the internet all day. Many people show up to Crossfit to not do Crossfit.

Crossfit works. I have experienced it. I have seen it work in countless people. I have also seen a lot of people try Crossfit and not get results but that was always because those people did not play the game.

At Crossfit we are playing the game of “Elite Fitness.” This level of “eliteness” can be different for different people however the objective is to transform every client or member into someone fitter than they were before they walked in to the gym. Dramatically so. Crossfit is a game that is fun and challenging and the people that play win.

Unfortunately, there are always a couple of people that show up and are unwilling to play the game. They do not want to eat right. They do not want to lift heavy. They will not jump. They will not sprint. They will not go faster. They will not push themselves beyond their comfort levels. They often have great excuses and reasons and notes from their moms but the fact remains that they are not playing the same game. These people often equate uncomfortable with impossible. That something is uncomfortable does not mean it cannot be done. It just means it is going to suck for a while. Everyone that has achieved anything worthwhile spent a lot of time being uncomfortable.

As a coach, I am supposed to teach you how to play the game and get you to play as well as you can. However, as the athlete you are the one on the field and you are the one that has to do the work. I have to make sure that if you are only a level 3 player when you walk in the door that I take you to level 4 and not push you right to level 10. You are the one that has to be willing to take it to that next level.

Now let me be clear. Nobody is telling you that you have to play the Crossfit game. There are thousands of gyms, trainers and protocols out there. However, when you signed up and paid your money to a Crossfit affiliate, you made a choice. If you decide that you are not going to play–and play to win– then you cannot say it was Crossfit that didn’t work or that it was the coach’s fault.

It is no different than following a recipe. If you want the cake that your grandma made, then follow her recipe. Seems obvious, but people look at their grandma’s recipe and say “Oh God! She uses so much butter. I’ll just use margarine instead and cut the amount in half.” Guess what? Now your cake sucks. Are you going to blame grandma (after all she’s done for you!)? Face it, your grandma knows more about cakes and your coach knows more about getting in shape. Follow their recipes and get their results. If you knew more than your coach (or your grandma), then you would not be in the shape that you are in.

Here is how you play the Crossfit game.

  • Commit to playing the game.
  • Eat right (our way not your way). To get the results, you have to work on your nutrition.
  • Learn the movements. Doing the movements properly is key to safely increasing your intensity.
  • Consistently practice the movements. It can take years to perfect some exercises. Be diligent and patient.
  • Do the WODs consistently and at the appropriate level of intensity. The appropriate level of intensity is relative to your fitness. However, the goal is to perform the workouts at as high an intensity as you can safely manage. This is called playing to win.
  • Rest and Recover. Store up that energy so you can go hard for the next workout.
  • Re-evaluate. Review your logs and find out where you can improve.

This is a continuing process. I take classes with other people because I believe they know more than me. I shut up and listen and try to do what they say. I ask questions and try to understand why they want me to do whatever it is that they are advocating. I learn. I grow both as an athlete and as a coach. If I am not getting the results that my teachers promised, then I have to go back to the recipe and see what I left out. I decide how committed I am to playing their game and getting their results. Then I either go for it or I find another game.

Good Sam

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