“In their minds it is the mark of an ill-prepared and amateur army to rely in the moments before battle on what they call pseudoandreia, false courage, meaning the artificially inflated martial frenzy produced by a general’s eleventh-hour harangue or some peak of bronze-banging bravado built to by shouting, shield-pounding and the like. It made no difference. None was a match for the warriors of Lakedaemon, and all knew it.”
-Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire
Many rely on adrenaline to perform. They need emotion and music to fuel their warm-up and their WOD. You will know these people by watching them at a competition and watching them in daily and weekly training. Those that simply cannot train without loud music, 3-scoops of pre-workout and yelling themselves into a frenzy are those that *need* adrenaline to perform.
Adrenaline and emotion can do wondrous things for competition. They can lead a person or a team to new PR’s, fast times and maybe a victory. But performing under those circumstances can be dangerous. Think: if a person or team always needs adrenaline to get themselves prepared for a competition, what happens when there is no adrenaline? When there is no music, no pre-workout, no emotion to be had? How many times can you get jacked up for an event? Once, maybe twice?
That is when it comes down to training – how well you’ve prepared and how much will you have to win.
I like that my athletes train as much as possible under what I would call “normal” circumstances. There is a high level of consistency. There is not a lot of yelling and chest-beating, unless it’s a “PR” day. The music is loud, but it’s not deafening. This allows them to see what their bodies and minds are capable of on a daily and weekly basis, with little to no “emotions”.
We use competition days and actual “competitions” to let the athletes see what happens when we throw spectators, prizes and pride on the line. That’s when they get to see what they’re capable of under “optimal conditions” – when the pressure is on and when there are consequences on the line.
I feel that this allows our athletes to both train and compete in circumstances that both show them who they are while simultaneously showing them what they are capable of.
“The hardship of the exercises is intended less to strengthen the back than to toughen the mind. The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has its legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.”
Week 19 Training: 14.12.12
A. Clean and Jerk: 4×1@90
B. Front Squat: Heavy Single
C. ACO Workout #5
30m Shuttle Run
20 KBS @ 24/16