Well, the 2017 West Regionals are done and dusted. This year was a pretty special experience for me as a coach. First of all, it was my first year coaching Individual athletes at Regionals. My previous experience, both competing and coaching, has been on the team side of things.

 

It was also a special year in that I got to watch two people I consider good friends and special people make it to Regionals for the first time. As some of you may know, Taryn has competed at Regionals as an individual previously, but Janel and Charli had not-- Janel had gone on a team before, but shockingly, for Charli, Regionals this year was probably her third career Crossfit competition.

So, for me, as their coach and their friend, I felt a real sense of pride at the beginning of the weekend, seeing the three of them walking around with their athlete badges and their big name placards on the floor. I saw a lot (but probably not all) of the hard work and sacrifice that went into them succeeding in the Open and qualifying for Regionals. The hours spent training, the hours spent recovering, food-prepping, analyzing their workout performances, etc, etc. For the three of them -- Charli, Janel, Taryn, getting to Regionals is an awesome feat.

I also felt very impressed and proud of the way all three of them handled themselves at Regionals all weekend. The competition itself can be a pretty intimidating experience -- you walk into the warm-up area and Emily Abbott, Carleen Matthews, and Alex Parker are there staring you down (not actually) and looking really, really fit. There’s a million judges on the floor, the crowd and music are super loud, and before each workout, you have to stand around for 10-15 minutes in a “corral” not exercising and over-thinking the workout that’s about to happen.

And that’s not even taking into account what the workouts actually were!

As many of you may know, this was the first Regionals to not feature any barbells in any of the six events over the weekend. There was running on a weird new type of treadmill, odd object lifting, dumbbell lifting (but heavier than the open!), and many, many bodyweight gymnastics movements.

Based on each event, and their individual strengths and weaknesses, we came up with a game plan and practiced pacing/running each event with said game plan in the weeks leading up to Regionals.

Sidenote -- qualifying for Regionals is super exciting and a big deal. Training for Regionals, once the workouts come out, is pretty fucking boring. Charli, Taryn and Janel did strict HSPUs twice a week once the workouts were announced. They did accessory work for strict HSPUs at least once a week. They did ring dips, they did some more ring dips. They did some muscle-ups, they practiced strict and weighted muscle-ups, and then they did some more regular kipping muscle-ups.

Anyways, when it came down to #gameday for the Regionals workouts themselves, all three athletes did a great job of executing their own individual game plans. I would say they were able to go as fast or faster than training on 90% of the Regional workouts, which is not easy, considering things like the variability of judging, high-level competitors next to you going at break-neck pace, remembering to do all the little weird things like move the dumbbell forward every seven reps and face the right way while doing toes to bar, blah blah blah.

I also thought all three athletes did a great job not “leaderboarding” during the weekend. It’s easy to get bogged down in the high of your best event or the low of your worst, or to spent a ton of emotional energy looking at your placing before and after each individual event, but my thought, as a coach, is that generally does not help with the athlete’s overall goal - to complete each individual event to the best of their ability. If you are too caught in emotions related to an event that have already happened, you cannot focus your efforts in the next workout! And, during Regionals, the athletes only get a short break -- 90 min max -- before they have to clear their brains from whatever they’ve done in the earlier part of the day before refocusing and warming up for the second event of the day. If you are caught up in how fast the person in the next lane is doing muscle-ups, you cannot focus all of your energy on your best/fastest/most efficient reps.

 

Once the final day’s events were over, we celebrated by eating Mexican food, not being able to drink beer at the restaurant due to our Canadian IDs, and eating a shitton of oreos (one thing my native country does well -- Oreo flavors). This week, these three amazing athletes get to rest, and the week after, we embark on their plan for 2018!

- Coach Liz

 

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