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The Open Guide – Mindset

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There are many factors that contribute to athletes’ success. First and foremost, you must be in the right mindset to compete and achieve your full potential. If your mental game is off or if you lack planning then even an Event that has your unique strengths in it could go wrong.

Here are some tips to help you best prepare and stay focused for each event.

Warm up your mind

Whether you call it meditation, visualisation or mental priming you should set aside 10 minutes to get your head in the game. Most elite athletes promote  the use of visualisation and can endorse its help with their performance. Visualising can help athletes who struggle with self doubt, fear of failure, competition nerves, etc. It is one of the most under used tools in competitive sports. Combine this with deep diaphragmatic breathing and your nervous system will be firing on all cylinders before that call of “3-2-1-GO!”.

Focus on you and your effort.

There isn’t anything you can do to control what your opponent is doing in a competition. The only thing you can control is yourself and how you tackle an event. Be aware of your competitors, particularly in the dying moments of an event, to help you push for the final few reps. However,  satisfaction will come from the knowledge that you competed with maximum intensity and a well executed plan. Know your pace, stay in your lane and push the limits when the time is right.

Stay away from the chalk bucket and water bottle.

Too many athletes will use the chalk bucket or a drink as a reason to take a break. Trust me, you don’t need it. View going to the chalk as an opportunity for another athlete to pass you by. Prepare yourself by chalking your barbell, pull up bar or dumbbells pre-event. Have a towel to keep your arms & hands dry so there’s less need for chalk. Make sure you are hydrated well before the workout. If you truly need something then keep it close by (e.g. chalk on a J-hook under your pull up station) in order to keep transition time fast.

Positive postures

Do you like to rest with you hands on their knees, head looking down at the floor while you gasp for air? Do you like to tell the whole gym mid-workout about how hard you’re finding it? If so, think about the time that you’ve performed your best. It doesn’t even have to be fitness related. Were you whinging about something then? The moments in which we accomplish maximum potential are going to be when we are in a positive mental and physical flow state. So rather than wasting your energy on  negative drama,  when you need to take a short rest or miss a rep, practice standing tall, keeping your eyes open and taking big, calming breaths. You’re much more likely to maintain focus and get back to executing your game plan.


By applying just these four things, you will see a major improvement in your performance!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Open Guide.

Good luck out there. Whatever your purpose is for participating in the Open I hope it is fulfilled.

Coach Leigh

CrossFit | Strength & Conditioning | Personal Training

GW Performance

South Yarra