My brother has recently been reading the Crossfit manual in preparation for his certification coming up in late February. The other day he asked me about "Virtuosity" and if I still remembered what it was. "Of course" I said, "It's doing the little things well, the details." He replied with "it's performing the common uncommonly well." Ehh I was close enough. Well..not really
Intrigued by his question, I took to the article on virtuosity written back in 2005 by Coach Greg Glassman, the founder of crossfit and began to read. I was immediately put in my place. Virtuosity is more than just paying attention to detail and doing the common uncommonly well, it IS crossfit and so much more. Virtuosity seems to be a fading trend amongst coaches, trainers and crossfit boxes due to an infatuation with "fancy" movements and sexy met-cons with a lack of adherence towards fundamental movements and foundational principles.
Any athlete or coach that takes passion in crossfit and completely respects the sport as a whole will understand that one must exemplify mastery within a skill/art before advancing onto one of more difficulty. We all have a tendency to go against the grain. I'm sure we would all love to be great overhead squatters, but if our air squat sucks, our overhead squat would be abysmal. Next, imagine adding weight to that bar overhead when you can't even air squat efficiently with your own body weight. Possible? Doubtful. Smart? No. Lack of progress? Yes. Injury? Most likely.
It's instinctual for us to WANT to be good at everything, but we must understand that we WILL NOT and CAN NOT be good at everything. We must set our ego's aside and become "coach-able". This does not solely pertain to crossfit but also life. Let yourself be the student and understand and learn from the ones who are knowledgeable. Learn the basics and work towards perfecting those basics before moving onto the next step. There's no way to go from step 1 to step 3 without going through step 2. It's an impossibility. When you cut corners you only hinder progress and put yourself in danger, regardless the situation.
Within crossfit, there are reasons behind why we constantly preach full range of motion, correct technique and proper form. Why we constantly scale rep schemes, weight and intensity. We tell you to scale because we care about your progress and advancement as an athlete. We pleasantly yell for chest to the ground, full extension during your push-ups and hip crease below the knee, stand tall for your squats because we care for the safety, strength and well-being of your joints and musculature. There is reasoning why we sound like broken records when it comes to movements, standards and crossfit. We expect a lot from the athletes because we know what they're capable of. The athletes should hold the same for the coaches. So next time someone tells you to scale reps, drop weight or move to your knees and get that ***damn chest to the ground , understand why they're doing it. It's not because they hate you or because they enjoy singling you out, but rather because they truly care for your safety, your progress and the rate of return on your efforts.
Virtuosity ladies and gentlemen...virtuosity.
Read the whole article here: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/Virtuosity.pdf