Have you ever walked up to the barbell telling yourself, “I can do this. I AM going to lift this bar right now”? Have you ever walked up to the barbell and said, “This is so heavy, I don’t know if I can do this”? Imagine yourself in front a your barbell; in one instance you’re hearing positive self-talk and in the other instance you’re experiencing negative self-talk. What do you think would be the outcome of the lift in each instance? It doesn’t matter how heavy the barbell is, you should always approach it confidently. That little voice in your head needs to be giving you a pep talk, “I will lift this”, “I can lift this”, “I want to lift this”.
Think about it for a minute. What are you telling yourself when you’re getting ready for a big lift, when you’re about to go into a WOD, or when it’s your time to workout in a competition setting? Next time you’re in one of these situations, pay attention to that voice, what is it saying to you? If you can learn how to hear that voice, change what it is saying, or quiet it if needed, you will become a better athlete. You will become more confident in your abilities as a CrossFitter, and you will feel better about your performance.
If you find that you’re experiencing a lot of negative self-talk, or if you automatically default to a negative attitude if something isn’t going your way (missing reps, falling behind in a WOD, etc), practice changing up the voice in your head. Instead of “you suck”, say, “keep going” or “go faster”. The second a negative thought comes to mind, graciously allow it to leave, and replace it with something positive.
Self-confidence also goes hand-in-hand with the concept of swagger. If you’ve never heard of swagger, this definition is from Urban Dictionary and is how I want you to think about swagger:
|Swagger||205 up, 157 down|
A demeanor of confidence, coolness, and togetherness. Someone with Swagger gives off an aura of comfortability (Not a real word, but we’ll go with it) with his/her self. Swagger is commonly referred to as Swag or Swagga. Swagger is not to be confused with cockiness. Cockiness is someone thinking they are the shit, but if you have swagger you probably are the shit.
“I know, he just gives off such a cool vibe”
HAHAHA. FROMANCE! I hope that made you laugh. As this definition states, “Swagger is not to be confused with cockiness.” When you walk into a gym you can usually pick out the athletes with swagger and self-confidence. They are calm, cool, and collected. When they are in a WOD they are calculated and focused. They’ve created a plan in their mind before going into a workout and they are executing that plan. During a warm-up this person gets to business, methodically going through movements and mobility work. This person maintains the mindset, “I’m well-prepared and I am going to do the best that I can.” Even when this person feels nervous or anxious, they remain focused and calm and allow that small amount of stress to propel them and not negatively affect their WOD. Many of the movements we perform in CrossFit require attention, composure, and finesse, and athletes who have “the swag” are better with these things, therefore making them better CrossFitters.
Whether you are at your home gym or in a competition setting, show your swag: carry your head high, remain confident in your abilities, and hold yourself to the highest standards. If you have done all you can do to prepare for an everyday WOD or a major competition, all there is left to do is create a plan and execute it. Quiet that voice in your head if it’s negative or, if it’s positive, let it talk you through your plan.
Just a reminder: Don’t be like this guy…
Fast forward to the 4-minute mark of this video and you see Ronnie Teasdale bounce the bar off the ground before the clean. The head judge, who happens to be female, walks over to call a no-rep and he continues to bounce the bar off the floor. If that wasn’t enough, he pushes her out of the way, then ghost-rides the bar in her direction on his last rep. This is horrible behavior by someone who thinks he has swagger but is clearly just a arrogant bastard. Bad sportsmanship, no matter how good an athlete you are, is unacceptable. Hey Ronnie, take your jorts and take a hike.
Please post comments here, or to Facebook! What do you do in order to maintain your self-confidence, your swagger, and your sportsmanship?