Cover photo © Southern Warriors 2022
The Invisible Team participated again this year – the 6th in a row – at Southern Warriors, the Crossfit event in Monopoli, one of the coolest Italian events in this discipline.
By the side of an athlete who in the past editions collected two first places and a silver for his category and this time instead gave way to younger and ça va sans dire more performing athletes (read his concluding remarks on Instagram @mirkopriolatrainer).
Two (just saying) scattered post-event reflections that apply to all sporting events.
Those who practice Crossfit on a regular basis, even if only as an alternative to other physical activities for wellness and fitness, should attend a competition of this magnitude, either as an athlete or as an audience member, to benefit from the motivation and drive to raise the bar in their daily lives and invest in their sense of self-efficacy. Hence
-> let’s get inspired!
In-person sporting events (how I hate to specify!) continue to be an important time of inspiration for the audience (see above), confrontation for the athletes, and aggregation* for the community: competition leads to healthy rivalry, and even through rivalry beautiful friendships can be born. If we don’t value relationships, what else! Far from being foolish and underestimating the covid danger, let’s still try to find good solutions so that we don’t jeopardize such important moments and contexts again. Hence
-> let’s preserve sporting events!
The logistics of such a sporting event are a huge headache (I know from firsthand experience!) and usually the rewards are not enough to counterbalance the disruptions and discontents (unbelievable but mathematical!) of those who participate or those who watch. I would say it is worth applauding those who are committed and have the courage to invest resources in time, money and soul. Hence
-> yay for the organizers!
A sporting event that wants to aim high does not only think about the athletes but also thinks about its audience, and the first audience is the family&friends around the athlete. The clearly open and direct invitation to the family&friends with related “deluxe” treatment guarantee the athlete’s lifetime return to the event. In addition to the athletes’ natural families and cheerleaders, there is a potential audience that needs to be attracted, which is why it is important to find a way not to put up barriers and instead to open doors: the potential is outside, not inside the competition field. Hence
-> organizers, let’s think about it!
Rules and referees, in this case judges, are crucial to a competition. Their preparation and professionalism can make all the difference. There will be no competition that will make everyone go home happy, but even those who are unhappy with the result must be assured (and admit they are) that everything was done according to rules and correct judgment. In this case we are talking about judges who have done three days in an open competition field at +40°C and have shown no signs of letting up. Hence
-> chapeau to the judges!
After yet another behind-the-scenes experience, I confirm that an athlete’s invisible team must:
- be phenomenal with logistics;
- learn the race (in this case) program better than the Athlete (trust this is needed!!!);
- adapt to every situation – e.g., 4 a.m. wake-up call, 2 full days in +40° without drinking so as not to go to the bathroom -;
- always be there-behind, beside, in front of the Athlete-never letting him/her perceive it and be ready to appear instantly upon request;
- keep morale high;
- know how to use carrot and stick well (which sometimes means camouflaging stick as carrot and carrot as stick);
- be able “breathe” the context and be prepared to analyze it, reframe it, and make it one’s own.
-> teams of invisibles, let’s equip and talk about it!
I witnessed a tirade – in fact more than one – by an Athlete who was evidently convinced that he would win and, from the first WOD (first competition), that he had suffered injustice (all verified and dissolved), which he then concluded with a fitting finale:
“No, I am not taking the picture with you! This WOD did not need skills but only luck!”
There it was a real disappointment to hear these words. I hope it was just a moment of outburst after three days of intense and tiring competition and the adrenaline swirling. I hope today with a cool mind he agrees with me that damn if luck is part of the game and not only in sports but in life! A reaction like that, to a moral gap that clearly needed to be bridged, has no justification anyway. Opponents on the field are comrades off the field – Crossfit demonstrates this well – and if family and/or life experiences have not taught humility, sport certainly does.
It is true that one can also continue not learning. Indeed, I always hope so! Vero is that my first thought at those words was, “Madonnasantaincoronata thankfully you are not one of my athletes.” There you go, thankfully not!
Buono sport a tutti!