CrossFit is not kind to the specialist. This was made evident at the Games last week. Of course, every single athlete competing was phenomenal or they wouldn't have made it that far. But there were certain individuals who stood out as they destroyed particular events simply because of their past athletic backgrounds. This was made evident in the 300-yard shuttle run, the swim/bike/run event and the football sled push.
Here, specialties came in handy -- an easy set of points and a brief appearance in the spotlight as these former specialists made their peers look silly. Yet, for many of these former specialists that was the last we heard of them for the rest of the weekend.
There is a pattern emerging in the CrossFit Games. The champions are the ones who may win first in a few events, but often finish a few spots back. But the key is that they are consistent in where they place - 3rd, 4th, 1st, 5th, 1st not 6th, 13th, 16th, 1st, 21st. The CrossFit champion is not a specialist of any kind, but a jack-of-all-trades. Not a cleaver or a filet, but a swiss army knife. They are comfortable in any modality, under any time domain, with any movement and under any circumstance. This is precisely why these individuals are the fittest athletes on the planet and why CrossFit is the greatest test of one's overall fitness.
As we move into a new season of training, here is my advice to you: If you want to become better at CrossFit, pick one thing you suck at and do it as often as possible. Keep drilling it until you get it. This is what the champions do. Find someone in the gym who is really good at that something you suck at, and talk to them. Or find someone who shares your same deficiency and work together to improve it. This is both a great way to get better and to strengthen the camaraderie inside of our box. And you are more likely to stick to your goals if you're working with other people who will hold you accountable.
Once you become proficient at that movement or skill, move on to the next thing. The journey never stops. This is the fun of CrossFit. The challenge to be as fit as you can possibly be is open to people of all ages and athletic backgrounds. Remember, one of the keys to optimum CrossFit performance is not to be excellent at two or three of the 10 elements of fitness, but to be good at all of them.