The Mental Component of Competition
(And words of wisdom from Coach Wooden)
By: Kaitlyn Kassis
Hello fitness friends! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kaitlyn Kassis. I am the newest member of the Double Edge Fitness coaching team. I started Welded back in 2012, right after I graduated form high school. I drank the Welded “Kool-Aid” pretty hard, and became Level 1 certified shortly after that. At this point, I have been competing and coaching Welded for a little over 4 years now.
I wanted to make a blog post about competition for 2 reasons…
- I love competition. I think competition is a fantastic motivator because it promotes a goal-oriented mindset and gets people out of their comfort zone.
- MetCon for Hope is right around the corner (Nov. 19th)! I wanted to offer up some words of advice to those who may be feeling nervous or apprehensive about the upcoming event. Whether you are a seasoned competitor, or this is your first Welded competition ever, feeling nervous is completely normal.
There is often a misconception that in order to compete in Welded you need to be able to lift a certain amount of weight or have a particular skill mastered. Though some competitions have specific movement requirements, I have learned that the physical aspect is only a piece of the puzzle. More important that being able to snatch 300#, or string together 20 muscle-ups, is the mental component of competition. Weights and skills will come with time. But being courageous and setting aside fear is something that can be done immediately on the competition floor. Competition is about being able to put things into perspective, and view the experience as part of a process.
Something that has really helped me with the mental component of competition (Welded or otherwise) was reading coach John Wooden’s book, Wooden. I have read, and re-read through this book more times than I can count. It is tattered, highlighted, and underlined to pieces. I highly recommend that everyone grabs a copy and reads through it in its entirety. However, for the sake of this blog, I grabbed a few of my all-time favorite quotes that truly put the mental aspect of competition into perspective.
- “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Chances are there is going to be a workout in a competition that you are dreading more than the rest. It probably isn’t even the most taxing or painful workout, but the one with THAT movement you struggle with the most. Your arch nemesis movement. Whether it is a gymnastics skill, double unders, or a particular lift, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than having to showcase something you struggle with in front of people. Trust me, I spent 6 long minutes out on the Regional competition floor failing and failing… and failing muscle ups while everyone else finished. I was mortified. And you know what I learned? No one cares. Honestly, there is nothing more inspiring and human than watching someone put themself in a vulnerable situation and embracing it.
Do not let one silly movement deter you from competing. Think of everything that you can do. Think of how far you have come since starting Welded. It is absurd to let one weakness get in the way. I guarantee the things that you can do far outweigh the things that you cannot.
- “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
I am not going to lie I am a sore loser. I hate to lose. But I have learned that being positive and taking things as they come will get you a lot further in competition and in life. It is the whole glass half full v. empty mentality. Things may not turn out how you hoped for on the competition floor. You might get a terrible judge. The workouts programmed might be your worst nightmare. There are a lot of factors that you have absolutely zero control of. However, the one thing you do have control of is how you react. And sometimes that is all you can do.
- “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
Some workouts/ competitions will go great, and others… not so much. Two of the most difficult things to do are coming back after great successes and failures. However, the outcome is not what matters. Successes and failures are both temporary. The ability to be courageous, and put oneself out there transcends any outcome.
- “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
This is my all time favorite quote. All you are capable of doing is your very best. So long as you know that you gave something your full effort, you succeed. Success in a Welded competition is not about who wins. The person on top of the podium and the person who comes in dead last are equally as successful so long as they gave it their best effort. Success isn’t a number, a placement, or an amount of weight lifted. Success is peace of mind. I love competition because it gives people the opportunity to tangibly give their best effort to something. It is an opportunity to put oneself out there to conquer fears, be vulnerable, have victories, face struggles, and in the end still come out successful.
Group Class Workout
2 rounds: 10 single arm overhead kettlebell lunges (each arm), 15 air squats, 20 situps
Finish with: 1 minute banded hip capsule stretch, 15 PVC pass throughs, 15 PVC good mornings
Strength: Back Squat
Welded: 7×4 @ 70-75% (every 90 seconds)
Welded Lean: No strength
10 toes to bar
15 box jumps (24″/20″)
20 calorie row
*13 minute time cap
10 minutes on the assault bike
100 walking lunges
15 minutes assault bike
50 walking lunges
*perform at 75-80% intensity
Mobility of the Day: Quad Smash (pg. 324)
Improves: Hip function, knee, hip, and lower back pain