THE 11th DOMAIN OF FITNESS
AS CROSSFITTERS, WE STRIVE TO DEVELOP A PROFICIENCY IN 10 DOMAINS OF FITNESS:
Whether or not we have seen this list in the CrossFit Journal or plastered on the back of a t-shirt, we are all intrinsically aware of training each of these domains at some point during the course of practicing our sport. In fact, on a really rough day, we might encounter a WOD that demands the implementation of nearly all 10 skills. Those of you who have done “The Seven” know exactly what I’m talking about...
There is, however, a critical element missing from CrossFit’s published fitness paradigm...
11th Domain: CONFIDENCE
THE QUALITY OR STATE OF BEING CERTAIN.
Think about it: What in CrossFit, or in life in general for that matter, are we going to do well at if we haven’t developed a certain amount of self confidence?
Defined simply as: “the quality or state of being certain”, confidence is crucial to completing a heavy squat clean, performing a muscle up, or getting just one more rep in that 20 minute AMRAP. Hell, having confidence is crucial in stepping foot in the box to begin with. So, what steps can we as athletes take to train this integral portion of our fitness?
How To Train Your Confidence
Start by recognizing any negative or inaccurate thinking. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, the following thought patterns tend to erode self esteem:
ALL OR NOTHING THINKING
You see things as all good, or all bad. For example: "If I don't succeed in this lift, then I'm a total failure."
You see only the negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a situation. For example: "I can't figure out double unders, and still can't do a handstand pushup, I will never be good at CrossFit."
CONVERTING POSITIVES TO NEGATIVES
You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don't count. For Example: "I only did well on the WOD because it was easy programming."
JUMPING TO NEGATIVE CONCLUSIONS
You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example: "I did so well on that WOD, I must have miscounted my rounds."
MISTAKING FEELINGS FOR FACTS
You confuse feelings or beliefs for facts. For example: "I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure."
Beware of these patterns! When we succumb to them often enough, they become ingrained in our minds. Think of your mind as a dirt trail. The more the trail is traveled, the deeper it becomes. So the more we think of ourselves in a negative light, the more automatic it becomes, and the less confident we become overall.
Forming New Ruts
Once you recognize the negative, self destructive thoughts, begin replacing them with accurate constructive ones.
USE HOPEFUL STATEMENTS
Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you tell yourself that you can't lift the bar over your head, chances are you are probably right. Try telling yourself something like, "Even though it's going to be tough, I can handle it."
Everyone makes mistakes or has a less than stellar day. This is not a permanent reflection on you as an athlete. It is an isolated moment in time. Tell yourself, "I had a bad day, that doesn't make me a poor CrossFitter."
AVOID SHOULD & MUST STATEMENTS
If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you are likely putting unreasonable demands on yourself. Simply removing these words from your thoughts can lead to more realistic expectations.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
Think about the good parts of your abilities and performance. Focusing on any positive thought can be powerful. "I'm doing a good job of keeping my elbows up in my front squat."
Give yourself credit for making positive changes. "I may not have beat my previous PR, but my snatch technique was flawless this time."