The 2017 Open competition is quickly approaching and whether you have potential Regional athletes or not, this is still a crucial time for your gym. It could be a chance for new members to get a taste of the competition side of CrossFit, veteran athletes to push themselves further and for your Box to gauge where it stands in terms of programming success.
Jody Pescatore, a trainer at CrossFit The Rack, said they start promoting the Open as soon as the Reebok CrossFit Games schedule is announced. They do countdowns for when registration opens on their social media platforms as an attempt to encourage members, especially new athletes, to get involved.
“We tend to push it for the newer people so they can experience it and see what CrossFit is about as far as a group of people surrounding you while your judge is judging you and the camaraderie that comes with it,” said Pescatore. “We like for them to see what it is like to be judged and put yourself in a competition with people across the globe.”
As for those members that aim to go further than the Open, creating a support team around them can be the edge they need to push themselves. At CrossFit The Rack, 15-year-old Teri Manzelli finished 11th in the world last year. She was one spot away from making the top ten and going to the Games, so this year the top ten is her goal, and her Box is helping her shoot for the goal.
“We decided as the Coaches, along with some members, to do the programming with her so she has someone to chase,” said Pescatore. “She was doing a lot of the programming and the WODs by herself. While she has that drive and determination, having someone against her is obviously going to push her a little bit harder. It gives her that extra edge and desire.”
Sometimes all it takes to push an athlete is a little competition. Hosting in-house competitions throughout the year can help members see that the Open isn’t as intimidating as they may believe.
“I think once you have done a competition, whether you have been an athlete previously or not, it gets you revved up again and into that mindset of knowing you need to take it to the next level,” said Pescatore. “Once the Open comes around they are kind of more prepared for what it takes to get their minds and their bodies ready for it.”
Your athletes may not be Games material, but participating in the Open could be their way of measuring how far they have come in terms of their fitness goals, and where they want to go in the next year. “People get to see what they need to focus on as an athlete after a competition,” said Pescatore. “We might change up our program and plug a little more of a certain weakness into a workout so people will feel overall a little more ready to tackle their next Open.”