“When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.”
When I started Crossfitting, I saw that Sunday's were always "team WOD's" and always wondered what the point was. You're still doing work, why does it matter if I am with a team?
As I went and did the team workouts, I quickly realized that I was pushing myself the most and making the biggest gains during these workouts. The fear of embarrassment or fear of letting your teammate down is a powerful motivator. The first time I did a 20lb wall ball was during a team workout, I would also use a slightly heavier weight in those workouts. It was fantastic for my confidence.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your team WOD
No one likes silence at the gym. So if it is a WOD where your partner is going and you're "resting", take the opportunity to cheer them on. It doesn't have to be constant, but pushing your teammate to "not put the bar down" or to do 3 more reps before resting can really help the other person. I know I've done an extra few reps on many occasions simply because someone was yelling for me to keep going.
2. Accept Criticism
You may be paired up with someone who is a better crossfitter than you and has been through the WOD in the past. Take their criticism properly...as a training tool. If they tell you that your back is bending, don't brush it off, work on a way to fix it. That person is only trying to help you, not make you feel inferior or stupid. Use it and you will make a large gain.
3. Make a wager
This is one that works really well for me. Prior to the WOD beginning, find a team that is similar to yours in ability and make a lil' friendly wager on the results of the WOD. Not monetary, but maybe something as simple as the loser has to clean up the winners equipment, or even loser has to do 10 or 20 barrel roll burpees. you'll get some friendly banter during the WOD and some enjoyment for everyone after the WOD. (Seriously, have you ever seen a meat head do barrel roll burpees?...it's hilarious)
4. Set a goal with your teammate
This is something I do individually and have carried it over to the partner WOD's. Set a goal that is a bit hard to reach, but may be attainable if you both really push. This past saturday I set a goal for 8 minutes for my teammate Eric and I on the partner WOD. It was an unrealistic goal for us because he's new to crossfit and I'm just not that great at it yet. But I know he pushed himself to try and meet that goal for us. It was fantastic. We ended with a time of 9:53 but I know he gave it his all and like I've said in a previous post...that is all a teammate can ever ask for.
Beyond the gains made in your workout, it also is a fantastic time to socialize a bit more at the gym. You may be paired with someone you havn't had the chance to talk too. Take the time to get to know them, you may find a new friendship, or at the least it may keep that person coming back to the box and reaching their goals. If you see someone new there, take it upon yourself to make them feel welcomed, I know it helped me a lot when I was first starting out.