Taking control of your CrossFit journey: Part 2
For many of you who took the time to read my previous blog, you will now be alerted to the fact this blog is based around finding a way to conquer the frustrations of learning a new skill. In my opinion there are generally two reasons why people never make progress. The first reason is lack of commitment and the second is lack of patience. They are both equally the main reasons people will fail, but before I assess how we overcome these two, I firstly want to run through an example of how we implement and execute the previous mentioned 4 steps.
I would like to note, before I continue that this is a real draft of a skill that I recently decided I wanted to learn and as you will notice it is nothing special but it is effective.
STEP 1: PICKING A SKILL
This is the easy part, right?
- Handstand Walks and Hold. The reason being is that I did not have this skill in my skill box. I was not Generally Physically Prepared for handstand races if it was a matter of survival. What better reason do I need to want to learn it?
STEP 2: THE QUESTIONS/ASSESSMENT
How badly do you want to master this skill?
- Badly enough to pick it.
Is this skill realistic?
- Damn straight it is.
Do you have a step-by-step plan to achieve this skill?
- Not yet.
How much time do you really invest in learning new a skill?
- For me the answer is roughly 10-15mins 3 days a week.
The key to this first assessment is to be short and to the point. This is a self-assessment rather then actually setting goals. This step happens all the time although it generally only happens in the space between your ears (your head) and as you all know things get lost in there during a manic week at work.
STEP 3: GOAL SETTING
This is the part where things get real, you get a pen and paper, you write this down and you confess in an honest heart-to-heart with yourself or gym buddy that this is what you want to learn and that you will be following the steps that take you to the finish line.
What is it that you want to learn?
- Handstand Freaking Walks and holds.
When do you want to learn this by?
- In two months time (July and August). Yes I only gave myself two months to learn this skill and when you see my time breakdown this will make more sense, although I was rather strong at handstands against the wall. So whether you think this is a short or long time, the reasoning is the KEY part, it is REALISTIC. I don’t care how long you choose, as long as it is realistic.
How much time have you actually set aside to learn this new skill?
- 10-15mins a day . If I calculate that at 10 minutes a day, 3 times a week for a total of 9 weeks, that’s a grand total of 270 minutes across the 2 months. Take into consideration that this is calculated using the minimum amount of time I spent and I only worked at it 3 days of the week.
How much do you know about learning this skill?
- I knew absolutely nothing to be honest. I knew how to kick into a handstand against the wall when I decided this was the skill I wanted to perfect. When I think about it though, that statement is technically incorrect and I will tell you exactly why. It was incorrect because what I do know is that there is nothing in the world that Google doesn’t know, as well as there is nothing in the world you cannot learn off YouTube. Try it out, I promise it’s amazing and you can even learn how to open a beer with a banana (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU-s9uEakAc)
Are you going to stick to your plan?
- ABSOLUTELY YES was my answer to this and so it should be yours!!! This is the deciding factor in my eyes and what it really comes down to is how much you really want it. This part of the implementation is key and only you can be accountable for this. So if you were to fail at this stage only you will be to blame.
SUMMARY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION
By now we have almost all the pieces of the puzzle in place. We have established what we want to learn, we have picked a realistic date of when we want to achieve this by, we know how much time we owe towards making this possible, we also know that Google and YouTube are there if we need them and we have confessed in writing that we are committed to mastering this skill. I am sure there may be many of you thinking well what a great help he has been. That’s a fair point, but there is plenty of method in my madness. If you were looking for me to give you hours on end, all you can read and watch progressions, you’re wrong. There is no reason why you can’t do this. I personally, went in blind and perhaps handstand holds and walks can cater for this. The point I am really trying to make is that yes showing a person drills and a progression is great but the work still has to be done. A key thing as part of the homework is to do the research in your own time, find where you think you’re going wrong, go home and ask Google how to fix it and come back tomorrow and try again. This does not mean that a coach is not there to help you out at any time. The real part of the exercise is to realize you have just as much access to the info you need as anyone else does. Lack of help is no excuse for failure and one of the reasons this has been so successful for me is that I haven’t been afraid of having to earn the prize.
KEY POINTS FOR THOUGHT
There are a few key points that I have carefully thought about and I would like to share these with you as tips that you really have to follow in order to be successful. The first one is the time factor. Only 10-15 minutes a day. END OF STORY!!! Any more then this and you will have lost interest and burnt yourself out, added to being burnt out is the frustration of repeated failure (caused by burning out). This frustration is a dark place and is only going to set you back in your learning. If at any point you get frustrated and angry, you STOP IMMEDIATELY and try again the next day. This could be 2 minutes into your 15, I don’t care, you have to stop because you cannot possibly learn in such a poor state of mind. If all is going well after 15 minutes, guess what? You stop and come back tomorrow with the same confidence. Sticking to your scheduled time is important and be wise about stopping when you are frustrated. This I have found to be the most important factor of what makes this such an effective way to learn a new skill.
By now you would’ve figured out that I do not have some form of special formula of learning a new skill but would rather highlight that you as an athlete need to take ownership of learning to do something. If it was as simple as a coach doing it for you then we wouldn’t hesitate. Use us, ask us questions but be sure to commit to something that you want, if you want it so badly. Remember to have patience and be realistic and honest with yourself while doing so.
For those of you who were wondering where I was at with my skill!?!? I am currently two weeks away from my cut off time that I set for myself and I already have a better than decent handstand hold, as well as a PB of 5m (3 gym mats worth) of a handstand walk. My goal is 5 and I am determined to get myself there!
Good luck and work hard for what you want.