Sportsmanship and CrossFit

Some of these words may be harsh and I may seem angry…this topic is important and something I am very passionate about. If you don’t agree, that is totally fine. There is a good chance we no don’t agree on anything at that point and I could care less.

One of the things I love about Crossfit is the sportsmanship involved. The quality of athletes is unparalleled in my opinion when it comes to this and I’ve never seen anything like it in any sport that I have been involved in…there’s been at least a dozen. Individual athletes stood out when they showed exceptional sportsmanship when I was growing up, they were even awarded for it. Today, with CF, those who don’t show this quality stick out like sore thumbs. And then, I GET REALLY EFFING ANGRY.

I am going to back up a little and gloat a bit to give you guys some background…I was the coaches favorite. In many of my sports. I often got mvp or some similar award at the end of the season. While I am fairly athletic, my coaches liked me because I was coachable, I didn’t argue with them or talk back to them, and I worked my butt off. I also supported my team mates and was often team captain or co-captain. I played varsity sports for the most part and always looked up to the girls who were older than me who exemplified these qualities. Hard work, honesty and integrity, and respect. These were all things I desired to be as an athlete. I take things personally. Any time an athlete or someone on my team disrespected our coach or our other team mates, I’d get upset. Any time they’d walk off the field without shaking the other teams hand, I’d get irate. And anytime anyone cheated during practice or tried to get out of working hard, well, lets just say they avoided me for a while. I have zero tolerance for that stuff and there is no place for it, on or off the field. I am also extremely competitive and anytime we lost, my parents knew not to talk to me for a few days. While I was upset in that case, I kept it to myself and used it as fuel during the next game.

So back to current day- There are few times that I have experienced, heard about, or have seen poor sportsmanship in crossfit. The few times I have, I have been appalled, angry, upset, and not to mention, embarrassed for that person. So I am going to put it out there…to all those who I coach and all those who I compete with and train with every day, If you ever talk back to a head coach or judge in a disrespectful way, we are done. (you are obviously allowed to disagree respectfully. At regionals, Quinn and I both disagreed with a call made by the judges because another athlete stepped into her jump rope. A call was made and we had to live with it. She was upset, as was I, however we accepted it gracefully.)

If any of my athletes or teammates ever walked off the ‘field’ without cheering on other competitors before the workout was over, we would have some things to discuss. (There are a few exceptions…I put the health and safety of you guys first and if you need to get into an ice bath, get some water in you, or get into the shade, these things come first.This happened to me at Regionals in a workout last year. I finished and I knew I needed to get into the shade and into some water. This generally only happens if I hit a time cap or if I feel like I am risking getting injured.) These exceptions don’t happen often though, so moral of the story- stay and cheer on your fellow competitors and athletes. This is one of the unique and beautiful things about this sport. Don’t ruin it. I have zero respect for athletes that don’t respect others. I have only seen this a few times and I wanted to take that persons face and smash it onto the concrete…just saying. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not really. As a coach, I would never do this. I represent the crossfit community, my gym, my athletes, and those who coach me. I expect other coaches, gym owners, and athletes to do the same.

Always finish the competition- If you are losing, get over it. It’s not the end of the world. Getting pouty because you aren’t doing well happens to the best of us, but finishing what you started is more important than being upset about your performance. With the exception of a serious injury obviously. Finally, Don’t cheat. If I every caught one of my athletes cheating, especially in competition, we would have a pretty interesting conversation. I don’t want to coach or work with anyone who intentionally shows poor sportsmanship. I actually just don’t even want to be friends with people like that. If you are incapable of getting your head out of your ass and setting your ego aside in a sport like this, you have no place in this community.

Ok, thanks for listening to me rant. The end.

These are some friends I made while being a ‘good sport.’ Oddly enough, they were also ‘good sports’ and we became friends.


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