In my opinion there should be a poster image of the “best athlete” that all others, including us coaches, should strive to adhere to and, in our own individual ways, replicate. This hypothetical “best athlete” is not the athlete that tops the leaderboard, or possesses the best all round CrossFit game. This athlete, again in my opinion, is the one that shows most humility in approach and is defined by a number of characteristics that set them aside from the others.
1. Firstly, the best athlete is able to recognise and accept their current level and ability. They can do so with the knowledge that hard work will lead to progress and that the process takes time. They have the ability to identify weaknesses and understand the work load required to better them. They are not deterred by these weaknesses and instead embrace them and implement strategies to turn them into strengths.
2. The best athlete has a strong foundational game. By this we mean they have perfected the basics. They see the value in doing so prior to progressing to more advanced movements and have a goal of longevity and mastery as opposed to immediate and often false successes.
3. The next point ties in closely to the above two. The best athlete will focus on their own individual needs and will not get distracted by the progression or strengths of others. They enjoy the successes of the community but, rather than losing focus on the end goal for the sake of unimportant competition, the best athlete will not deviate from the plan and will compete within the realms of the level at which they find themselves.
4. The best athlete will take responsibility to seek out work specific to their own specific needs. Ultimately the goal is to become the best and to do so requires a certain level of independence and drive. Time spent before and after classes improving upon weaknesses with additional work is the norm.
5. Finally, to contradict all of the above points, the best athlete is a team player. Success and becoming the best require a certain level of discipline and selfishness and a lot of crazy. The best athlete, however, will still see the importance of community and the great feeling that immersing yourself into classes with likeminded people brings.
Take a look at you as an athlete, see how you compare and if there is anything you need to change in order to closer resemble the image of the hypothetical “best athlete”.