Please bear with this intro…it will all make sense shortly. In flying, the primary Instrument for reference is called the Attitude Director Indicator (ADI). When flying during a low-illumination night or in the clouds, the ADI is your sole reference to up and down; it is, by-in-large, what keeps you from crashing when you can’t see outside. As Steven Wright said in “So I Married An Axe Murderer,” “This is the Artificial horizon…which is better than the real horizon.” The ADI in most aircraft is kept stable by gyroscopes. Over time, gyroscopes precess (drift) and the picture of what is up and what is down can get skewed. This, clearly, makes it challenging to keep the airplane flying straight and level. Confidence in your environment wanes and you lose focus on reaching your target because you’re focused on just staying airborne. When this happens, the pilot must find a stable reference to up and down and then pull a knob to restabilize the gyroscopes. This is called “ReCaging the ADI.” When you “ReCage,” You get a clear picture of what up and down should be, then you shift your world to match it.
Nicole and I started CFHR with one overarching principle: our athletes are our friends and family; we want them to succeed in an environment of support, camaraderie and challenge. To sustain that principle requires an atmosphere that balances support and competition. This is tough to keep in balance.
So, here’s the ReCage:
1. COMPETITION: It’s important for athletes to understand why we have a whiteboard at all. The daily whiteboard is there for athletes to gauge their own performance against others. It’s there to foster the right level of competition (that helps push athletes to work harder). It sets the atmosphere of fun. It is NOT a means of personally challenging an individual’s capabilities or integrity. There is an underlying assumption that what goes on that board is 100% valid; that if you post “RX’d” you met the movement standards prescribed by the WOD. It’s also the coaches’ responsibility to clearly communicate those standards. A while back, I linked to a post about how the “clock” can be an enemy to progress as much as a help (namely when it pushes you to poor form or missed reps just to be faster). In the end, the whiteboard is this: A public venue for Physical and MENTAL growth. Somedays you’ll be proud of what you put up there, some days you won’t. But either way you learned something about yourself, and you moved one step closer to being a better “you.”
2. SUPPORT: There’s no room for anything other that 100% encouragement and support to foster competition, growth and progress. It’s a reciprocating engine of positive energy: Pushing fellow athletes and allowing fellow athletes to push you. NO Negativity. NO discouragement. NO EGO. Simply a collection of people who give a sh!t about their health and the well-being of their fellow athletes. The only thing that makes me prouder than watching one of my young Coaches helping an athlete get better is watching one of our athletes help another athlete get better. Whether it’s double unders or rope climbs, we’ve all conquered at least one challenge. When you see another athlete struggle with that challenge, help them. Encourage them. You know how good it feels!
3. THE BIG BOARD: If results are going to go up on the big board (named WOD board), we will provide an ULTRA clear explanation of the “As Prescribed” standards for that WOD. Athletes will be held to tight standards, so everyone knows that if it’s up on that big front board, it is 100% LEGIT. Here’s a great example: the Barbells for Boobs Halloween WOD. We had a great, supportive, fun environment. At the same time, we had athletes working HARD to get the best time. Some athletes did the WOD in costume, some didn’t. Because there was no communicated expectation for that WOD to go up on the board, and we did not post the RX’d standards (nor really brief them well enough to everyone), we won’t post the times up on the named WOD board. We’ll hit that WOD again soon. This time for the board.
4. THE FEEDBACK: You are our family. WE NEED HONEST FEEDBACK FROM OUR FAMILY. We look at it as advice from a sibling trying to keep us from making a mistake with a girl/boyfriend. We don’t look at it as our Mom being annoying. TELL US WHEN SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT. TELL US WHEN YOU APPRECIATE A COACH OR A WOD!
Thanks for bearing with this long post. And with that, we’ve started a ReCage: Up and down become clearer. Confidence in your direction is bolstered. And the flightpath to your target becomes reinvigorated with energy and focus.