There are basically three stages, mentally, when we are preparing for a workout. The first stage is the night before, when you log into your computer and check for the next day´s WOD. The second stage is during the actual workout, and the last stage is the aftermath: when you are laying on the ground in a puddle of sweat, wondering why you do CrossFit!
Mentally preparing yourself for a workout can yield some pretty impressive results, and just a tweak here and there can make all this crazy exercising a whole lot easier. Try doing the following things when thinking about a workout:
1. When you first see a workout posted, whether its the night before or the day of, look at all the movements you know you are good at. Then look at the other movements that you might not like so much and think of them as a way to work on a weakness. If you think negatively about a movement or workout before you have even tried it, you are pretty much giving up! If you have the mobility of a metal rod and you see overhead squats pop up, just look at it as a way to improve your flexibility.
2. During the actual WOD, use only positive statements when talking to yourself or another athlete. When thinking quickly, under high stress, our minds don´t recognize negatives. In other words, saying “don´t drop the barbell” is actually processed as “drop the barbell.” A better way to think or help motivate others is by saying things like: do a big set, get as many as you can, just one more rep, etc, etc.
3. The aftermath. I remember at WODapalooza this year, during the very first workout, I was extremely frustrated with my judge. I left the workout feeling cheated and let it affect my entire weekend. I never really recovered from that one event. No matter how you feel after the workout, whether you came in first or last, remember that all we are doing is exercising. Go give everyone in the class a high five and it will immediately make you feel better about yourself. Do a quick reflection of the workout: what was easy for you? What gave you the most trouble? Use those questions to determine how you want to get better.