Teaching new dogs new tricks! – Lateral Thinking for Skill Development.

CrossFit can be a challenging concept to wrap ones head around when you get started with all the AMRAP’s and EMOM’s but with patience and persistence the early hurdles can definitely be overcome. That said the initial few weeks and months can be very challenging when it comes to learning lots of new skills which can at times feel like you’re in a really annoying game show and cannot seem to learn the skill quick enough.

Here I would recommend some lateral thinking when it comes to the skill work that you might encounter in your early CrossFit days.

The concept of lateral thinking was developed by Edward De Bono in 1967 to describe the process of solving problems through an indirect and creative approach. This can be done by using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and which does not usually follow a regular step by step process.

Some examples we recently encountered are as follows.

When learning the frustrating double under or double skips in other words, instead of concentrating on increasing your speed to a point where it is unsustainable think more towards a consistent jumping rhythm which can be practiced in smaller doubles sets or else for set time frames of single skips as if when you get lots of them, you will have no choice but to work at a consistent pace anyway!

When practicing kipping for either pull ups or toes to bar for example, at the beginning of your journey it can seem like the most difficult thing is to just hang off the bar and get any sort of control on your body swing.

What I find can help a considerable amount though is to use a very small almost dolphin flipper-like kip to begin with and try to equalise both the back and forward swing of the kip. This way you are ingraining very good motor control habits that will help keep that skill intact for a long time to come.

Learning new skills will remain a challenge for the best of us but if you are just getting started on this awesome journey that is fitness and CrossFit then thinking outside the box to solve some of these tricky movements can be the best way to go.

Coach Padraic