Approaching a CrossFit Team WOD

How to approach a CrossFit team WOD

From physical preparation to mental readiness, CrossFit competitions can be taxing on the body and the mind. While some athletes prefer to compete individually, many enjoy team comps that challenge them in their ability to perform under pressure, while easing the burden of having to complete all the movements by themselves. This does not mean that team competitions are easier – it’s much harder to tackle a workout knowing other athletes are relying on your performance.

HOW TO PICK TEAMMATES

Choosing the best partners for a team competition requires a little honest introspection. If you know that you can lift twice your bodyweight, but you can’t do two pull ups in a row, choose someone with gymnastic ability to complement your performance. This sounds oversimplified – but it really is quite simple. Determine your strengths. Determine your weaknesses. Partner with someone (or a team) that can do the things you can’t. Smash the workout.

There is one proviso here – if Timmy and Johnny want to punch each other every time they walk into the Box, they probably shouldn’t be on the same team (unless it’s to force them to be friends). Team dynamics are incredibly important and any barriers to good communication and positive reinforcement should be removed to ensure success. 

THE APPROACH AT A TEAM COMP

If you’re doing the comp to gain experience, the pressure is off and who gets to do what becomes a more liberal choice. If you’re in it to win it, the best person for the job does the job. This may mean that some athletes will do more work in some WODs, but the others will have their chance to shine when the time is right. As always, preparation is key. In many instances, athletes trust that they can do a movement well because they got that muscle up last year – and then fail on game day. 

IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT COMPETITION

When tackling a team WOD at the Box, the intensity of the training should depend on the coaches and/or the athletes’ required outcomes. If it’s a flush-out session, the focus will be on fun and mobility. If it’s a team-building exercise, the focus will be on bonding as partners and learning how to work together to achieve the best results. If it’s a friendly in-Box trial or comp prep, the focus is on achieving the best results. With each possible scenario, the approach should be adjusted to suit the outcome required.

By Diane Teles, Co-Founder of CrossFit 360Vida, Coach and Physiotherapist.