Posts Tagged ‘Skill’

Over the last few days, a 14-year old baseball player is making headlines across the country. His name is Luke Terry, and he’s good! The reason people are talking about him, though, is because Luke only has one arm. When he was 19 months old he contracted E. Coli and had his right arm amputated. Does it look like it’s slowed him down much? I don’t think so.

When stories like this hit the mainstream, I usually get a little frustrated. The kid has one arm. Yes, that’s definitely newsworthy. But he is also an incredible athlete! There are stories of athletes all over the world who are labeled “physically disabled” or “physically challenged.” As I watched a show on ESPN, one of the anchors referred to Luke as “differently abled,” and I thought that was better. This isn’t an inspiring moment of the team equipment manager who gets to come out and shoot an easy layup as his team is up by 30 points in the 4th quarter. Those stories are incredible in their own right (and typically make my eyes well up,) but Luke Terry… this kid has a cannon.

Watch the video below and tell me whether you think this is a “cute and heartwarming” story of some kid being given a chance to play a sport with his friends. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he won that spot fair and square by being the best player on the team. He bats third in the line-up, folks! That’s not a favor the coach is giving him because he “has a disability.” Luke Terry lost his arm when he was 19 months old. All he’s known is life with one arm. And he still learned to play the game better than I ever could! So while you may see an athlete with one arm, I see an extremely talented ball player.

Is he “differently abled?” Sure! He can throw you out trying to steal second OR be different and pick you off on your way to third base. Get it, Luke. You’re an awesome, and I’m stoked to see you continue to succeed!

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The first installment (Life After The Open (Part 1)) in a series of posts I started last week began by explaining how each year immediately following the CrossFit Games Open, thousands of athletes around the globe find themselves with a renewed sense of motivation to improve their performance in this crazy “sport” of ours. I aimed to suggest a few ways to channel that inspiration into productive skill development. In the second post of the series (Life After The Open (Part 2), I encouraged everyone to take moment to reflect on their own Open. Not just reflect, but identify three positive things that could be learned from their personal experience this year. These could be specific accomplishments to celebrate like a first pull-up or linked double-unders, or weaknesses that were exposed, allowing athletes a full year’s time to improve them before next spring.

Today, I’m going to provide a few of my favorite resources that you can use as you work to actually develop your personalized training plan for the next year! This page is designed to provide inspiration, instruction, or that one cue to help that movement *click* for one of your athletes!

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I’ll break down my recommendations into a few categories: CrossFit/General Fitness, Barbell Movements, Gymnastics, and Treatment/Recovery/Other

  • CrossFit/General Fitness
    • The CrossFit Journal– This is CrossFit.com’s main information library. While it costs $50 per year to subscribe and get full access, if you’re a CrossFit/Movement/Performance nerd or newbie, there are hundreds of thousands of hours of amazing content on this website. Articles, Videos, How-To’s, and so much more. If you don’t want to pay, there is still a lot of free information. Check it out, please!
    • The CrossFit Invictus Blog– C.J. Martin has been in the CrossFit game for a long time, and is one of the most highly-regarded coaches in the sport. Look through their blog for a lot of great advice on how to be a better athlete!
  • Barbell Movements
    • Catalyst Athletics Exercise Library– Our sport has a lot of different movements for athletes to learn. It can be really hard to hear “High Hang Squat Snatch into Snatch Balance into Overhead Squat” and have no idea what that means. Not only does this robust library include videos of each movement, it even features lots of ab, core, and accessory movements. It’s one of the best sites out there in my opinion.
  • Gymnastics
    • CrossFit Gymnastics– The official site for CrossFit’s gymnastics training courses with so many videos included on how to learn progressions for so many movements; from pistols to muscle ups to handstand push-ups.
    • GymnasticsWOD.com– Anyone who has done CrossFit for more than a few years knows (and is probably partly in love with) Carl Paoli. In my opinion, the amount of content he’s got on this website rivals that of the Catalyst Athletic team. Check it out!
    • Power Monkey Fitness– Probably my favorite resource for instructional videos on how to move one’s body safely and effectively. Please look through this archive of free videos when you have some time!
  • Treatment/Recovery/Other
    • MobilityWOD.com– Kelly Starrett is the “Godfather” of proper movement in the CrossFit world, and beyond. Although also requires a paid subscription these days, the website claims to be “the world’s most comprehensive database of guided movement, mechanics, mobility instruction.” So yeah, maybe don’t buy every version of every Nano or Metcon that comes out, and invest the $100/year in a basically never-ending library of corrective movement self-help and education! While it may not have nearly as much content, the free stuff on the MobilityWOD Instagram page is also awesome!
    • ROMWOD.com– ROMWOD is the first-ever “CrossFit-specific” company that recorded full-length mobility and recovery “workouts” that viewers could follow from the comfort of their home or gym. Yes, it also requires a subscription, but everyone I know who has paid swears by the videos.
    • Here are a few other Instagram profiles I follow that produce great content: Squat University (squat mobility/positioning),  CarterGood (nutrition), Joe Therapy (muscle release and stretching videos)

I could sit here for hours and link to every resource I’ve ever found, but this is a great start to help athletes of all ability levels move better and take better care of their bodies. Now that you you’ve got these resources at your fingertips, go put them to use! 

Feel free to share some of your favorite sites/profiles. Let’s help each other. Happy learning, friends!

First of all, I’m not sure if I’ve ever written the word don’ts before, but it looks weird!

Ok, back to the focus of the post: Accessory Work

If you are an athlete that steps foot into a CrossFit gym on a regular basis, odds are that there are three to four-hundred things you’d like to improve to become a better athlete. Identifying some, or all, of those things typically leads athletes down one of three paths.

Path Number One

“That’s way too many things to try and improve… therefore, I shall choose to improve none of them!”

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Path Number Two

“I want to get better at Handstand Push-Ups. My legs need to get stronger. If I can improve my engine, I’ll get more rounds in workouts. With more flexible ankles, my rowing will get better. I want to get a PR on Murph next year. But I’d also like to beat my Fran time. ROM WOD 8 days per week will help me. I think I want to go that Double-Under clinic next weekend.” ~ The consecutive thoughts of one person

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Yes, there is a laundry list of things we can all improve upon, but trying to attack too much at once is unrealistic and really not smart. Why, you ask? Because some people (yes, I’m talking to you) will spend 30 minutes after class every day working on Muscle-Ups. Thirty minutes. Hanging and swinging from rings or a bar. After they’re tired from a workout. Not only will that likely lead to tearing hands, but trying to be explosive and technically precise after 60 minutes of torture (excuse me, I mean intense physical exertion) isn’t usually the best plan.

Path Number Three

Be a planner. Pick a few things you’d like to start improving. Find a person, or people, who can help you create an intelligent training plan or progression. If applicable, have someone who can watch you practice, or if you video your attempts, those who can give you constructive feedback. Too often “we don’t know what we don’t know,” and having a more experienced person in your corner can help foster huge breakthroughs. After a few weeks, note your progress on those items in your training log (yay, progress!) and create a new list!

Now, I’ve got Good News and Bad News:

The Good News is that in our sport of CrossFit, you LITERALLY have an ENDLESS list of things you can choose to improve at any given moment.

The Bad News, is that you’ll never be good at ALL of it. So don’t even try.

But, really, that’s also still the Good News! I’m telling you that (for most people in nearly every circumstance) you can work on a single skill foreverrrr, and still be able to keep improving over time! That is so awesome. Most things that are worth keeping don’t happen overnight, either.

If there’s anything I can do to help you on your journey, let me know. Set realistic goals. Have a plan. And actually try your best to enjoy the journey. If all goes well, we’ll be on it for a long time!

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I heard some really sad news today. While doing my normal morning scan of Facebook, my buddy Jason who is the one of the most active “mountaineers/back country explorers” I know, shared a link to an article talking about the death of Ueli Steck.

Now for most people, that name probably doesn’t ring a bell (even though it should). But for me, it hit a bit closer to home because I had been following Ueli’s, or the “Swiss Machine” as he was called, unbelievable mountain adventures ever since seeing the video below years ago!

I am pretty far from a daredevil and am mildly afraid of heights, so when I watched what he did I was completely shocked. First of all, why would someone WANT to climb the Eiger? Then, why would they want to do it as fast as they possibly could? Finally….. and this is the one that floored me most, why would someone choose to do this as a Free Solo climb?! That means he didn’t have any support ropes, harnesses, or protective gear. Yeah, Ueli climbed the 13,000+ ft. peak in the middle of “Winter Season” alone and with absolutely no supplemental safety equipment!

 

Every time an “extreme athlete” passes away doing something they love, I’m usually left with a myriad of emotions. While it’s always sad when a life is lost, there are a lot of people who say, “At least they went doing what they love.” That doesn’t mean I want to die eating a pizza just because I like doing that, but I see their point. While activities like sky diving or climbing mountains can be seen as “unsafe” by some, most of the athletes who choose to partake in these sports do their research, prepare for as many contingencies as they can, and accept that if things go wrong they would rather accept the consequences versus not taking the risk in the first place. That’s the exact reason why those activities aren’t for everyone.

Ueli inspired hundreds if not thousands of people with his accomplishments alongside mother nature. While his death is unbelievably sad, I hope his legacy will continue to live on forever. Rest in peace, sir.

 

Virtuosity is a word that gets thrown around in CrossFit a lot. It’s generally referred to as

“performing the common uncommonly well.” Today, I’m sharing to videos of people who embody that word.

I think Ive posted this before, but it’s worth sharing again. Séan Garnier is a freak! Just look at this control. The next time you’re near a soccer ball, just try ONE of these tricks. So cool to watch!

Also, how is this a thing? I’m still partially convinced that this is a fake video, haha.

The next time you’re near a bike.. do NOT try one of these tricks!