Coach Glassman calls it virtuosity. Wrote a great article about it which you can read here: http://journal.crossfit.com/2005/08/virtuosity-1.tpl
I think back to being an athlete (again golfers may or may not be so, “athlete?”), and what onlookers, fans (what i certainly am now) think of when we think of a performance as the ultimate expression of sport, or athleticism. Lebron’s carrying of his team to an NBA Final, Tiger making the last putt, Annie Thorsdottir winning another event at the CrossFit Games.
As a coach, it can be frustrating to watch that happen and have your athletes feel like there is something you aren’t telling them, some secret of how they did that.
First of all, the bad news. Most of us, including me, don’t have what it takes to do those super human things Lebron, Tiger, and Annie do. It sucks but, there is a component of god given talent, proper athletic frame or genetic make up that just make those athletes phenomenal at what they do.
Still, their goals are no more noble than ours. Albeit different, we all have things we are trying to attain that aren’t easy, and will take work to do them. It may be hard to wrap our heads around, but at the end of a WOD, Annie Thorsdottir gets the same feeling we do. She just gets through it faster or with more weight or whatever. Unfortunately, someone staying healthy across their lifetime isn’t celebrated much outside of those who care about them and family members, but I would venture to guess those examples of athletes achieving the ultimate in their respective fields revere the respect and encouragement from their families the most, just as those of us normal folk fighting for our own victories would too.
The answer to our goals is so stupidly boring though, most won’t commit to it. It is consistency and doing all of the little things well. In basketball that means making your free throws and being in tune with your teammates. Things that take mindless time and repetition. In golf that means making your short putts, and being in control of your fundamentals, again mindless repetition. In CrossFit that means having a hugely strong foundation of skills and movements that you can then and ONLY then train into being highly metabolic and increasing capacity. Again, mindless repetition and practice. There is no magic. What you see may look like magic, but it is simply mastery of fundamentals in disguise.
At CrossFIt LoDo, we are going to be doing a lot more auxiliary and accessory work to support the basis of the hard stuff. Because I have seen to big of a gap between our practice and our performance. I want to have more people feel strong in their joints and more progressed in their gymnastics and body control. But that means you can’t just do the sexy stuff. Yeah 1 RM, Grace, and the hero WODs are fun. But are you doing the little stuff that you have to do to be better? Did you really finish the accessory work? Did you really scale appropriately? Are you practicing new skills even when it’s a weakness of yours? Are you listening to your coach for how to make the workout what it is INTENDED to be for that day? Maximizing your training session?
If not, you are risking not progressing as well as you could, and you certainly won’t master the little things that make up your foundation to stand on something big, like PR’s into your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond. Don’t be fooled, just because it is repetitive doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. After all, I want my grandkids impressed with my fitness, don’t you?