My Survival Guide for Subjective Sports

“Goooooooallllll” the announcer yells. The ball ends up in the net; the soccer player knows a goal has been scored. The same is true in ice hockey, basketball, and lacrosse.  What about sports that are subjective– gymnastics, diving, and yes….CrossFit? 

How do we, as CrossFit athletes handle our subjective scoring system?

Competing in gymnastics for 15 years, I learned two valuable lessons – more like survival tools - about participating in a subjective sport.

First and foremost, I developed a backbone. That’s right. “Suck it up buttercup”. You didn’t “like” the score the judge gave you nor did you “agree” with it. So what are your options--- Kick a wall? Argue? Pout?  No. You need to take that moment, learn from it and become a better performer. Understand why your efforts fell short and figure out how to improve your performance to insure a better result the next time. 

Which leads me directly into the second thing I learned…leave no doubt for the judges. Every subjective sport I am familiar with has standards. Your performance score is determined by how well you executed the program’s standards. In gymnastics, the athlete must hit an 180 degree split in their leap to prevent deductions, you must squat below parallel in CrossFit to elude the “no-rep,” and so on...

I have had experience being “judged” in the CrossFit world, having competed as a Masters Games athlete and at the Regional level.  Yes – I have been “no rep’d”. No – I didn’t turn to the judge and argue. I fixed the next rep – made it better and left no doubt. Understanding and practicing standards each day at the gym will allow you to perform under pressure, to the standards, leaving no doubt for the judge and no reason to deduct.

So what is the moral of the story? Your every day goal should be: Practice excellence.  Practice Excellence results in Performance Excellence and ultimately achieving a successful performance, when it really counts!

“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”– David Bly

rticle written by: Pamela Gagnon
CrossFit Gymnastics Lead Coach

CrossFit Games Masters Competitor