I am entering my third month as a coach here CrossFit Science Park. I have loved every minute of it. Each person has welcomed me. The sense of community is fantastic. Dan and Kathy-Jo have something great going on here.
I wanted to share an observation I have made not just at CFSP but in the other CrossFit locations I coached in over the last 7 years.
I want to talk to you about a movement that I think we should eliminate. It is the head-shake. In life, it simply means “no.” It also carries a sense of disapproval…like when you got in trouble as a kid and your parent or teacher would shake their head at you and say something like “Why would you do that?” Or sometimes it means disbelief when accompanied by a phrase like “Are you nuts?” We use this simple gesture quite a bit. It’s never in a positive manner though.
In the gym, an athlete drops the bar and shakes their head…no words but you can almost read their mind. “That shouldn’t have felt that heavy, what’s wrong with me?” Or another athlete drops off the pull up bar and shakes their head. Again you can see their thoughts…”I should have gotten more pull ups than that…I must be weak”
We have all done it, coaches and athletes alike. In my gut, I knew it was detrimental. I wanted to confirm my suspicions so I asked my friend Google about the psychology of the head-shake. And my thoughts were confirmed by none other than THE Ohio State University Psych Dept. “The study found that nodding your head up and down is, in effect, telling yourself that you have confidence in your own thoughts – whether those thoughts are positive or negative. Shaking your head does the opposite: its gives people less confidence in their own thoughts.” You can read the whole article here. The head-shake can/will undo whatever momentum you had going.
So enter your next workout with positive thoughts and ideas. You got a great night sleep or your nutrition has been on point, or your coach gave you an awesome pre-wod pep talk..you are ready to go. Round 1 done, not so bad…Round 2, maybe things slow down a little bit; this is where you need to consciously avoid the head-shake. However, you do it, you need to make sure you don’t enter that negative space. Replace the head-shake with a little smile or nod, maybe a little fist pump. I tend to be a little more stoic so I might just fixed my gaze out the front window and lock it in there. Do whatever you have to, to get rid of the headshake. I bet your times and weights start to improve.