By Will Kane
You must adapt to change…
We’ve had so many changes on the CrossFit scene ranging from the season timeline, regionals, Sanctionals, the amount of athletes competing at the games, country champs or no country champs, I could go on…
It’s a lot of changes for a sport with such large numbers. But, with the recent management changes at the top of the game it seems things are moving in a more progressive and positive direction.
Personally, I quite enjoyed and embraced the changes over the past few years. It’s actually quite fun to not know the format and then adapt quickly in regards to training plans and travel. I felt during regionals there was a lot more emphasis and pressure on the Open. During the Sanctional era you could pick and choose events with qualification seeming not as intense. Now, even with the virus situation, there seems to be a good balance.
Being a gym owner and coach I always felt that people outside qualifying positions, towards the end of the Open, would lose interest or stop submitting scores. I felt there could be a drop in enthusiasm and participation over five long weeks. However, with the new set up of just three weeks and the top 10% progressing to the quarter finals, I think the excitement will continue throughout. Yes, people who aren’t going to make the top 10% only get three weeks but isn’t this enough? I think so! Knowing that you only have three weeks to test your fitness may reduce stress, keep box engagement high and reduce programming disruption for box owners. Equally, with more people likely to progress to progress to the next stage, I believe week four (the quarter finals) will lead to some awesome atmospheres in the gym. Covid restrictions permitting of course.
Those looking to progress to the semi-final stage will need to be prepared for potential online competition. Personally, I hope we can get to competition venues as I think the variety of programming can be much more creative. But, like we saw for the Games and the Rogue Invitational, online competition can be viewer friendly if done well.
In terms of the season set up, Feb/Mar Open, April/May Sanctionals/Regionals and July for the Games, I believe this is the best for season structure. Pleasant Spring/Summer competition with Autumn/Winter off season.
Finally, and this is directed mainly to those still in lockdown, this Open is billed as “the most accessible ever”. Whether you have kit or not you’ll be able to submit a score. Once again, and I say this to countless people every year, “even if you have zero aspiration to compete, the Open is a great tool to measure your fitness. See it as your annual fitness test!”
I really hope everyone can get together and throw down in box communities again soon!