The SWOT analysis has been used by businesses for years as a means of self improvement. It calls for individuals to identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (hence SWOT), and target business and marketing strategies based on the outcome of that analysis.
Why do I bring this up?
There may be a lesson here for you up-and-coming CrossFitters. Successful businesses consolidate their strengths, take advantage of their opportunities and work hard on eliminating their weaknesses. See where I’m heading?
Let me give you an example here. A guy walks in with a bull’s neck, arms like tree trunks and can bend the bar over his knee. He’s real strong (note that down as a strength). But because he’s kinda heavy, what with all his muscles and all, he doesn’t like gymnastics stuff too much (let’s presume that’s his big weakness).
Straightforward so far. We adjust his programming so that there’s less focus on lifting heavy things and more focus on his body weight exercises. We still do some strength exercises, just not as his primary focus.
So he does some more gymnastics stuff in his new program. And we discover an opportunity. Turns out he picks up kipping work very easily. With some more practice on the technical side of gymnastics (kipping, balancing and body awareness) he’ll be able to turn a weakness into a strength.
Lastly, we introduce him to overhead squats. Turns out he’s pretty tight through the shoulders and ankles and can’t get below parallel without visiting the floor with his butt. His inflexibility could cost him, or in other words, threaten, his performance.
So his SWOT analysis may look something like this:
The take home message for you is simple. Honestly evaluate your training. Is it where you want it to be? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Can you identify any opportunities for improvement, or remove any possible threats to your performance?
From there it’s simple. Spend more time working on your weaker areas (we in the business call this biasing, or when you get really technical about it, periodising). Maintain your strengths and take advantage of your opportunities (skill work tends to go a long way here).
If you’re unsure what your strengths and weaknesses are, believe me, a trainer will know and be more than happy to point them out!