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How Competitions Creates Better Athletes

CrossFit Competitions Ft. LauderdaleThe 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games are now at an end but the training for many crossfit athletes is just beginning. The end of the games inspires a whole new type of athlete, an athlete that has more drive and determination to be that much better next year. The beauty of competition is that it makes the average athlete an even better athlete in many ways. 
Drive goes a long way when it comes to training for a competition. There are two types of drive, internal and external. Internal drive is that voice and motivation inside that pushes you to do better, perform harder, and lift heavier and is the best way an athlete improves in every area of CrossFit. External drive is that push you get from other athletes to help you keep going. This can come from athletes, coaches, family, and in some cases even fans. No matter where it comes from, that drive to make yourself better as a competitive athlete can be a powerful tool.
CrossFit covers every aspect of fitness and will push an athlete to their limits. Many will quit, but for the competitive athlete quitting is not an option. The key to becoming better than you were before is working on your weaknesses. Every CrossFitter has an area that they can dominate a WOD (workout of the day), but until you can do just as good in an area that is your Achilles Heal, you will plateau in your training. Working on your weaknesses is another way to make you a more well rounded athlete and can make you stronger in every lift and movement in Crossfit. While working on weaknesses can make you stronger all around, it will also give you more confidence to be a better athlete. 
Training for a competition takes hard work and discipline. It's important to follow whatever program you have and stay focused on training hard. Maintaining discipline in the gym makes it clear to others that you are a serious athlete and in turn you become a role model for others to become better athletes. This doesn't just apply to the gym. Discipline in the kitchen and your everyday activities are a big part of becoming a strong athlete. Eating a proper diet can make a huge difference in your progress and recovery. 
Athletes can choose to look at the glass half empty or half full. When you look at the WOD you have a choice to look at it as a challenge to make you better or engage in negative self talk which defeats you before you even start the wod. The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, said "the greatest adaption to Crossfit is between the ears." This couldn't have been worded any better and this is the difference between a great athlete and a mediocre athlete. To be a great competitor athlete you need to believe that no matter how hard the WOD is or how challenging your training, you can finish knowing you gave everything you physically and mentally could. 
Pride is something that is very clear when you wear it on your sleeve. When a Crossfitter decides to start training and competing the pride within them grows like a rapid fire. You can tell when an athlete takes pride in themselves and when they are just coasting by. A great competitive athlete works hard and in return dominates in competition. This shows pride in themselves, their box, and Crossfit as a positive way of representing self worth.
As you see in any competition there is a degree of sportsmanship. That very last athlete that struggles to finish the WOD and tries to beat the clock is normally the one that gets the most cheering. Everyone wants to see an athlete finish strong, it shows love for the sport and it shows that nothing will stop that athlete from reaching that last rep. Whether you finish first or last there is always a pat on the back or high five for finishing the competition. A good athlete, like the majority of CrossFitters, will not boast for finishing first or sulk for not doing as good as the other guy/girl. A good athlete represents CrossFit as the most loved and positively competitive sport. 
Competing takes a lot out of an athlete. Not everyone can do it, but there is something to be said about an athlete that gives it their all in training for competition. It's a journey from your first day in CrossFit to the day you enter into a competition. If you look back you will see how competition can improve your way of training and can make you a better athlete.

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