Spoiler- I’m not totally against them.
For those in the top 50ish that will be pushing to make Regionals it’s probably almost a necessity at this point. Gone are the days where you can just cruise through The Open. There are simply too many fit people out there trying to make it. The difference of 2-3 reps on a workout can mean 50 places if you’re in the meat of the bell curve and that could mean the difference between a trip to the next stage or not. That one is pretty obvious at this point.
(pictures courtesy of Beyond the Whiteboard)
The next reason to redo is simply being a competitive person who wants to put your best foot forward. It is a competition after all. Even experienced CrossFitters may be surprised by an Open workout and feel like they left something on the table. Maybe it was a new combination of movements, maybe you went out too hard and crashed, maybe there is a specific strategy you want to test that you are certain will better your score. Or maybe you’re just not used to having a judge on your every movement and have to work on cleaning your movements up a bit. If one of my athletes comes to me with that look of determination on their face that they need to do better, usually the only time I’ll say no is if they are putting themselves in harms way. For example, someone with some knee tendonitis or a jacked up shoulder wanting to redo 16.1 – sorry, but I’m going to protect you from yourself.
Onto why I don’t like redo’s.
There’s a difference between training and competing. It takes a fair amount of competing (whether it’s in CrossFit, or background in a different sport) to really understand that difference. The Open is a time to not only test your fitness, but to implement strategy, and take chances.
Too many athletes come to me after their Open workouts and say they aren’t happy with their scores. It’s happened since 2011. That 4-day window is notorious for leaving doubt.
What gets me about this is that you had the chance, but still think you didn’t do your best.
In reality there are a lot of valid reasons I described above where you may actually be correct that a better score would come the second time around. I’m not arguing that. What I want is for our athletes, and really any athlete to be ready to leave their best effort on the floor the first time.
I guess I’m speaking as much metaphorically as I am directly about the Open workouts. I had the words “second chances are rare” written on my wall in high school. I believed it then, and I believe it even more now. In the Open we can take second and even third cracks at it. In most scenarios, we can’t.
James Fitzgerald (aka OPT – the very first CrossFit Games champ) says it perfectly “Full effort = full victory”.
Your actual score isn’t as important as your ability to produce full effort when game time comes.