When I began my work in health and fitness I made a personal commitment to compete in a minimum of 1-2 athletic events each year. This decision is rooted in my own desire to prevent complacency and to keep my perspective fresh, thereby remaining at pace with the requests I make of my clients.
"Winning" is fun, but it is not my primary focus. My competitive purpose is more closely related to personal development and building a foundation of intention, flow and follow-through.
Typically my competition prep is comprised of the following points:
1. Set the intention - what is the specific objective of participating in this event?
2. Set a performance container - from preparation start date to one week after the event, block out the time in which physical preparation, strategy and inner work will occur.
3. While in the performance container make conscious agreements to match the intention in very specific ways. Choose 1-2 successful athletes to "model". Establish a success ritual and choose a mantra that is relevant to performance objectives.
4. While in the performance container do all the planned physical and technical prep, tapering as needed.
5. Compete! - By the day of competition the toughest work has been done. Aim to be in a state of self-directed flow.
6. Debrief one week after the event. Consciously release any inner performance agreements that were made at the start of the container.
This is a very bare bones version of the prep. It can be done as simply as listed above, or in much deeper detail, depending on the time available and the significance of the event. Sometimes it is helpful to create strategy around Real vs Perceived Limits.
Having a competition prep outline is helpful in determining competitive improvement over time. The more competitions there are, the more the relationship with competition evolves.
Regardless of event outcome, digging deep and discovering what is possible is unbeatable.
Special thanks to D.Cody Fielding, T.Thorn Colye, Vince Brown and Mushtaq Ali for their insight on competition strategy, and to Jeff Samson and TJ Burleigh for their recent competitive direction.
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