Is Your Head in the Game?

Mental Strategies that REALLY successful CrossFitters Use


The reason you may not be at the CrossFit Games or you aren’t at the level you’d like to be, might have nothing to do with your physical capacity. There is a huge mental component to CrossFit and each WOD challenges your ability to control your thoughts and emotions. The CrossFitters who use effective mental strategies are the ones who are at The CrossFit Games, winning competitions and setting PR after PR. The ones who don’t… aren’t.

REALLY Successful CrossFitters Use These Mental Strategies:

  • They develop and practice specific preparation routines
  • They concentrate on the upcoming performance and block out irrelevant or harmful thoughts
  • They don’t worry about other competitors or uncontrollable factors, focusing instead on what is controllable
  • They are quick to identify and reverse any negative self-talk
  • They have appropriate goals and expectations of their performances
  • They are quick to refocus and recover after a mistake or after unforeseeable adversary
  • They choose to remain optimistic even in the most physically and mentally demanding WODs
  • They communicate emotional issues that are holding them back
  • They are able to remain cool under tension and stress (able to regulate stress)
  • They learn how to regulate anxiety to benefit them
  • They develop and maintain high self and sport-confidence
  • They are able to shift their attention to match the environment and the demands of the WOD
  • They engage in mental rehearsal and visualizations
  • They are able to use dissociation and ignore bodily sensation of fatigue
  • They know their optimal level of arousal (not necessarily maximal) and when they need to use psyching techniques
  • They create balance in their lives outside of the box
  • They prefer to know all they can about themselves and seek coaching

Yes, these are all techniques that you can learn, train and implement. Mental Performance Training is simply just as important (if not more) than physical training. You can only go as far as your mind will allow you to. Athletes that work with a Mental Coach or Sport Psychologist are more able to tap into their full potential. If you want to have incredible results in CrossFit and develop into a competitive or top-level athlete you must train your mental game.

Dawn Fletcher, CSCS (owner of | @FletcherFitness) has an M.A. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Psychology. She is a CrossFit Coach and has been featured numerous times in
The CrossFit Journal for her articles and
videos on the mental aspect of sport. Her online programs and one-on-one Mental Performance Training Sessions help athletes perform their best when it matters the most.

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