Who should compete in The Open

This is a great question, and one that we get asked many times in the gym in the build up to The Open every year.

Recently I was listening to a podcast that discussed the three types of fear that might hold you back from competing in The Open.

1 - The fear of embarrassment

The fear of finishing last.  The fear of everyone seeing exactly what you can and cannot do.  The fear of what people think of you for not being able to do something.


This is normal and everyone doing something for the first time will feel this.  It's natural, it's human and everyone has been there at some point in their life.

Without getting past this fear, there can be no growth.  If you are not in a position where you have never been before then how can you move forwards with anything in your life?

CrossFit introduced a scaled division to allow people a smoother entry into The Open by lowering loads or levels of technicality.  At SCCF we run the IM Open where participation is rewarded more than achievement.

2 - The fear of how it will feel

The fear of how much it will hurt to try as hard as you can.  The fear of physical discomfort.  The fear of what you might actually be capable of.


If you have been preparing for any length of time then you should have a reasonable idea of how fit you are.  Contrary to the idea of people rising to the challenge, when the pressure (probably psychological) comes on, people will default to the level of their preparation.  The Friday Night Lights atmosphere might help you squeeze a few more reps out or shave a few seconds off, but that could just be your body fearing embarrassment more.

The number of PBs that we see during Friday Night Lights events during The Open is amazing every year.  So maybe reframe the fear of physical discomfort into an opportunity to demonstrate to your peers how hard you've been working over the past months.  The workouts that Dave Castro presents us with every year are designed to find the fittest men and women on the planet - they are designed to be difficult, they are designed to beat people - so use these coming weeks as chances to find your weaknesses so that over the next year you can start to turn them into strengths.

3 - The fear of failing to meet expectations

The fear of not being as fit as you were.  The fear of not finishing first when everyone expected it.  The fear of being able to do something without pressure, but going to pieces when the music is up, your heart rate is high and there's a bit of a crowd.

The Open is a snapshot.  It is not the measure of who you are or what you are worth.  The Open is there to find out who should progress to Regionals, but also for gym communities to rally round each other and have some fun.  Unless you have performance expectations of people on your shoulders, then the only person you can disappoint is yourself.  The only thing that you can control is the effort that you put in, and if your effort is truly your best then you've won. 

Your placing on the scoreboard will be affected by how many people enter.  You can be satisfied by knowing that you did all you could.


On that note, make sure that you're signed up to one of the IM Open teams within SCCF.  Head over to games.crossfit.com to register so that you can submit your scores online.  Come and chat to one of the coaches in the gym if you have any questions.

SCCF Intramural Open 2018


What is all this fuss about?

The CrossFit Games Open has returned and with it the Second City CrossFit Intramural Open.  The Intramural Open is designed to get everybody involved and keep the spirit high over the course of the 5 week Open.


For full details and dates, please head over to games.crossfit.com where you can sign up to the worldwide leaderboard and join the Second City CrossFit affiliate team #SCCFstrong

Just like in previous years, for five weeks there will be two versions of the same workout released for anyone to complete and see how they stack up not only within their gym, but worldwide against all other competing CrossFitters.

How will it work?

Three teams have been formed within the walls of SCCF.  Each is captained by two members.  These members have been on a recruiting drive over the past few weeks and have signed up 30 members (at the time of writing) to each of their teams.

Each and every team member is valuable as they can all earn points towards the team total regardless of their score on the actual Open workout.

As a bonus, every team member will have the opportunity to buy a limited edition SCCF shirt from here before the deadline on February 11th.

For 2018, your SCCF teams are:

Team Aromas - captained by Sophie and Ash


Team Madison - captained by Danni and Matt


Team Carson - captained by Zuber and Gaby


How do you earn points?

Team members will then participate in the CrossFit Open workouts each week and have an opportunity to earn points for their Intramural Open team in a number of ways.  They are as follows:

    1    (+1) Each team member that completes an Open WOD with a judge and has their score validated online will earn a point for their team’s total.  RX workouts and scaled workouts score the same.

    2    (+1) The top three male and female RX scores for each week will earn an additional point for their team total.

    3    (+5)  The team that is deemed to have shown the most spirit during each Friday Night Lights will earn 5 bonus points.

    4    (+1) Any team member completing an Open WOD during Friday Night Lights will earn an extra point for their team.

    5    (+2/+1) Athletes who challenge an athlete from another team to compete in a head-to-head throw down during Friday Night Lights will earn their team an extra 2 points for a win, whilst 1 extra point will be earned for a loss.  All head-to-head match ups must be submitted to Mike via the team captains by Friday 1530.

    6    (+1) Hitting a PB during any of the Open workouts will earn an extra point for their team.

   7     (+1) Judging a member of a different team during an Open workout. 

When incompetent isn't an insult

This isn’t an article that will bash CrossFit, strength and conditioning or the constant exploration of the boundaries of human potential by ordinary people.

This is an article exploring the ideas surrounding awareness and competence.  Feel free to relate it to your own fitness journey.  Feel free to relate it to your chosen profession, whether that’s CrossFit coaching or being a doctor.

Everyone everywhere has a level of awareness about any given topic.

Everyone everywhere has a level of competence within any given task.


Viewed as a graphic, it looks like this:

Let’s use times tables within maths as an example.   Before you go to school and start to learn you have no awareness of what maths is and consequently you can’t do any maths, therefore you can be viewed as unconsciously incompetent.  You discover numbers.

As you develop and start to do some maths lessons you become aware of maths but you aren’t yet competent and make mistakes so move towards the consciously incompetent area of the graph.  You begin the process of learning how the numbers work together.

More deliberate practice and focus helps move you towards conscious competence, where you still have to concentrate on the questions but are getting the answers right more often than not.  Disciplined effort is required.

Time spent grooving these patterns start to make things much more automatic so that problems that would’ve once upon a time baffled you are solved without conscious thought – the zone of unconscious competence.  You skillfully apply your skills within maths.

Watch any great sports person at work – they appear to make decisions without thinking and invariably make the right choice.  The old doctor who has seen virtually every medical condition under the sun can quickly diagnose without having to look up symptoms and treatments.  Musicians who can pick up instruments and within a couple of minutes learn a new song probably can’t explain how they do it, but they do.

A more detailed version of the previous graphic:

cycle of competence - unaware -  w title.gif

What are the take home messages from this article?

  • When you are new to something in the gym accept that it will take time to become skilled at it.  Not being able to do something may just mean you’ve never seen it before.
  • When you know someone is newer at something you should give them time to practice and focus so that they can move along in their progressions.  They’ll thank you in the long run.
  • Every new task and environment presents an opportunity for you to be unconsciously incompetent and start to move forwards with your progression towards mastery.  Seek to be incompetent, get out of your comfort zone and develop yourself.
  • Consider how the concepts discussed in this previous article might apply as you try and make progress.