I was asked today about tips for national level competitions. I’m not super experienced having only been to two, but I had these two insights that I thought I’d share.
One, colonize a warm-up platform early to put yourself where you’ll be most comfortable. I read a great article recently that talked about being in the “power position” in the warm-up area, like the CEO at the head of the board table.
But I realized about myself that I like being closer to the front where the desk is. I don’t go to meets with a coach who can track attempts for me. And without my glasses I have a hard time seeing across the room. So I feel more secure being closer to where the action is and I can see the clock and glance at the table easily. Many people hate it there because it’s a high traffic zone.
You need to figure out where you’ll be happy and make sure you secure that platform. Like a quiet corner where you can survey the room? Or do you like to be the center of attention? Don’t listen to pundits, listen to what will make you feel the most at home. You’ll already have nervous jitters aplenty. I liken this to listening to music in the gym. Lots of people like to shut out surrounding sensory input by listening to music in headphones. I really don’t like doing that. I like feeling more connected to my surroundings. Maybe I”m just a paranoid soul or maybe I’m overly social. But I like being able to both see and hear what’s around me at all times, so music in headphones in the gym is almost a stressor for me.
Two, be prepared for much stricter judging than you might have experienced at a local meet or in your Crossfit box while training. No wobbling, no pressing out, no hitching. Power cleans and Power snatches are fine if you can do them, but they still have to manifest excellent form. Film yourself leading up to the competition and be harsh with what you see on film. A corollary to this is that you choose an opener that you can hit in your sleep. Get something on the board that doesn’t worry you too much before reaching for the PRs on the next two attempts.