With the culmination of the 2015 CrossFit Games and its attached growth making its viewership larger than it ever has been before, now is a good a time as ever to talk a little bit about athlete goals.
As CrossFit becomes more and more public, ranging from ESPN features to new local boxes opening up on a monthly basis (Sidebar: a good friend of ours opened the first CrossFit gym last summer in Curitiba, Brazil, and over the last year 20+ more have opened in his city since) different spotlights are placed upon CrossFit and its methodology. As beneficial as it is for the CrossFit community everywhere, coaches still need to do their due diligence in informing their own athletes as well as incoming members the differences between CrossFit as a sport and CrossFit as a fitness regimen and how that aligns with their goals as an athlete.
Built on this idea, we talk and inform our athletes often about the goals of every workout, and how to attack workouts on a daily basis to work towards their personal goals. Basic things like scaling movements up or down and adjusting loading can help them do that. Regardless of the level of skills provided in a workout, there must always be a rhyme and reason for how the athletes attack a workout to move closer to their goals. This way, athletes not only are able to approach any particular workout with the intended intensity, but also can receive beneficial learning experiences about themselves. Coaches and gyms can avoid the "what MORE can I do" question by giving athletes a clear and concise way to achieve their goals.
The beauty in all of this is that goals can change. A former fitness enthusiast wants to start competing? Awesome, we can help them start honing their skills to get on that path. Competitive athlete want to turn it down a notch? Even simpler. And with the two categories, athletes will have to learn to take different approaches. A higher level of discipline and specificity will have to be incorporated to a competitive athletes regimen. They need to understand that if they take it as a sport, it is just like any sport: it takes years of dedication of practice. LeBron James isn't good at basketball because he won a couple of pick-up games. Regardless of all of this, at no point in time, should any of these two types athletes look at a workout and feel that they wasted their time. If that is the case, we have failed as a trainer and coach. That is where the "MORE" question comes from (and don't get me wrong, sometimes more is needed, but in almost all cases quality trumps quantity).
From a personal standpoint, I often feel that the with the growing popularity of CrossFit and its identity now locked into mainstream media, we often forget the true ideas and concepts that brought us to fall in love with CrossFit in the first place. If we truly want to grow the methodology-- not just the sport-- of CrossFit, we must always remember the basic concepts that brought it to where it is today in the first place. Remember that 90% of any local box's member's goals are just to kick ass and have fun.
Support your community. Keep workouts simple yet potent. Couplets and Triplets. Spend lots of time on the fundamentals and preach virtuosity. Prioritize movement patterns over loads. Challenge yourself and each other. Have fun.