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It’s all mental: Strategies for getting through CrossFit Games Open WOD 12.4

Friday 16.3.12

A: Wall ball technique work – focus on:

Part 1: the set up:

  • chest up – don’t have your head to one side of the ball (it’s not a great position for your cervical spine)
  • elbows up / ball on chin
  • for your reps to count your hip crease must start below knee

Part 2: the throw and catch

  • you may have to jump off the ground for your wall ball to hit the target
  • keep your arms outstretched to received the ball before – Mikey(physics nerd) pointed out this morning: the longer you let the ball fall the more velocity it will gain which will make it harder to catch… We tested the theory and yes, that sounds/looks about right…
  • try not to spin the ball as you throw it and make sure that the ball hits the wall as it’s velocity stops – it’s heaps easier to catch a unbalanced ball that isn’t spinning…

B: wall ball double under speed test – for time:

  • 30 wall balls – legit // count failed reps // see how long it took to do 30 reps
  • 30 double unders

Coaching notes:

Note: I counted Marc this morning (Marc’s a pretty strong guy with good hip mobility but he’s pretty new to wall balls) It took him 2:08 to get 30 ‘legit’ wall balls but 45 total attempts. It is possible that there’ll be an even greater percentage of ‘no-reps’ as the workout progresses and his level of fatigue increases?
I know there’s a heap of guys who can’t wait to bust out there first muscle-up but in reality just getting through all the wall balls (and you may  have to do 200) will be a feat in itself. We’ll worry about muscle-ups if you make it to them…

Cycling through multiple reps

After reviewing some online footage and judging a couple of people in the gym I think there’s 2 ways to do this:

  1. go for the biggest unbroken sets (for as long as you can) and then smaller sets; or
  2. (when things really slow down) -> go for singles… I haven’t seen anything that says you can’t pick up the ball from a squat position and then complete the throw/rep. Kate did it this morning and Graham Holmberg did it in the demo video… so it counts.

Mental approach

There’s a number of sites out there offering there take on how to attack this workout mentally. Becca’s done it yesterday. Mikey and Kate did it this morning. It looks and sounds like this workout is much tougher than 12.3 but more in a mental way. Wall balls suck. 150 wall balls are tragic and you’ve got to be mentally tough to get through them…

After what I’ve seen I’d have to say that you’ve got to:

  • If your first thought is “Oh shit…” you’re toast – Never start any WOD that way it already puts you on the back foot mentally. Come in and think (say it even) “Bring on theses wall balls – I’m here to battle!” which leads me to the next point…
  • Just do the work – treat it like you’re just going to be doing ‘Karen’ and you just have to keep moving through it.
  • Stop. Compose. Go again – If your shots are hitting the target: pause. Think about what you have to change to hit the target and try again. If the ball’s spinning off the wall and making it impossible to catch: pause. Think about what needs to change and try again.
  • Keep your cool – It’s easy to get frustrated with multiple failed reps, the ball hitting you in the face and so forth and it’s only going to get tougher if you lose it. If you don’t keep your cool in this workout it’s going to turn 12 mins of work into 12 mins of hell – don’t be that guy or girl swearing and kicking the wall – stay as cool as a cucumber…

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How are you preparing yourself for 12.4. Have you already done it and did it go to plan? Post to comments.