CrossFit HQ demonstrates movements for the 2015 CrossFit Team Series (Photo courtesy CrossFit.com)
With the 2016 CrossFit Team series starting tomorrow (Wednesday 7th September Australian time) I thought I would take a quick look at the team series – and why Aussie CrossFitters don’t seem to get that excited about it.
2016 marks the 3rd year running of the CrossFit Team Series – a competition in which teams of 4 athletes, two men and two women, from any affiliate globally, can compete against the best in the world, just like the CrossFit Open. But the Team Series doesn’t seem to get as much attention as the Open does amongst the Australian CrossFit community. Why is that?
It’s just like the open… sort of
The similarities between the CrossFit Open and the Team Series are obvious: it’s organised by CrossFit HQ, the workouts are released online to be completed in affiliates around the world, athletes compete in open, masters, teenagers and scaled categories and submit their scores online, but why doesn’t it get us as excited as the open?
Competing locally vs online
Many of us love competing. The personal drive generated by a deadline like a looming competition can’t be overstated. As athletes we want to do our very best on competition day and having a short to medium term goal means we have an endpoint in sight, this endpoint allows us to push harder knowing that the increased workload or intensity we place upon ourselves will be relatively short lived.
Intense competition training is a tried and true method that has been employed by coaches and athletes not just in CrossFit, but in sport everywhere. But does knowing that you will be competing against nameless faceless strangers on the internet lose some of the motivation to train? Do you need to know you will look into the eyes of your “enemies” to inspire you to hit the gym? Is a local competition in which you rub shoulder to shoulder much better inspiration?
CrossFit HQ demonstrates movements for the 2014 CrossFit Team Series (Photo courtesy CrossFit.com)
Does Australia’s isolation mean we don’t feel connected to the global community
While the athletes that I spoke to about the team series all said they loved the idea, none of them were actually taking part. Most thought it was a “fun idea” but noted that they hadn’t actually organised a team. Kosta Ilic, Pacific Regionals athlete and head coach at CrossFit Dignus in Perth, noted that he thought that the excitement of the team series was probably a little lost on Australia due to our distance from America. Following on from that I think that the fact that the Australian CrossFit community is so dispersed probably doesn’t help. Part of the lure of the CrossFit Team Series is that your team can be made up of athletes from different affiliates, but when the next closest affiliate can be a half an hour or more away it makes inter-box teams a little difficult to organise.
Is CrossFit just an individual sport for most of us?
Are we trying to fit a square block in a round hole by making CrossFit a team sport? Is CrossFit just an individual pursuit? At the highest level we crown the fittest individual man and woman on the planet at the CrossFit Games, and sure we also crown the fittest team – but let’s be honest, the teams don’t get anywhere as much attention as the individuals do, and so it is with the open vs the team series, and maybe that is OK.
What do you think? Am I wrong? Is the team series the greatest thing since the open? Let me know – leave a comment or something, go on!