Reflections On Mental Toughness From a CrossFit Games Champion

Matt Hewett, a former team member of the CrossFit Mayhems Champion team recently posted about what mental toughness means to him and how you can develop more of it too!

Doing something over and over again builds confidence in your abilities. How do you build confidence? Repeat something over, over, and over again.
Our CrossFit Team was the best in the world because we did crazy workouts day in and day out. We pushed ourselves harder than anyone had ever imagined. At the end of the day, we were sore as heck but ready for more. We built confidence through repetitions and knowing that we were pushing ourselves harder than anyone else. We knew that no matter what circumstances came up ( for us, workouts) we were more prepared and had more confidence than all of the other teams. We believed in ourselves because we trained harder and longer than anyone else.

It’s your responsibility to get YOUR job done. People depend on you and at the end of the day, it’s expected for you get it done. If that requires sacrifice and risk then so be it. “I will do my JOB.”

Put the TEAM before yourself. Great teams are built on players accepting that they are equal and they need each and every person to be at their best.
My greatest fear was not being a good teammate. Everything I did was for the betterment of the team. If I needed to lead, then I led. If I needed to follow, then I followed. Realize that at some point you will be needed to step up for your team. You don’t want to fail them. When things get tough and you feel like all you want to do it quit remember your teammates.

4. Pride and Humility
Have pride in what you do. It’s important to acknowledge and be happy with what you accomplish as a TEAM. It’s also important to know that at any point someone, somewhere, even if it’s only for a second can be better than you. Accept praise and go back to work.

In my opinion, there is no way “train” mental toughness by talking about it. It’s all about ACTION. You can talk about it all day long about what and how you are going to change but all comes down to putting things in action.


Athlete Spotlight: Justin C.

Hometown: Naples

Age: 30

Profession: Owner of Gnarly Harley Paddle

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Did you play any sports growing up? Before Crossfit, I wasn’t really on any program. Since my sophomore year of high school, I trained for the military. Workouts HIIT, swimming and running. I played lacrosse and spent most of my time wakeboarding, skateboarding or skimboarding. 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? My first exposure to Crossfit was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I was limited on resources, however, I found and attempted the WODs posted with limited equipment. After returning stateside I trialed a Crossfit gym. Unfortunately, I had to deploy and could not continue…

What was your first workout and how did it go? How did you feel after? Does the 300 workout count? If not, I believe Fran was my first. Crushed my soul 

Favorite CF Movements: Snatch and Muscle Ups even though I’m mediocre at them.

Least Favorite Movements: wall walks,  handstand push-ups and running

Favorite Cheat Meal: Haagen Daz Banana peanut butter chocolate chip. Yes that’s all in one pint.

Favorite Healthy Meal: Sushi… unhealthy amounts of sushi.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I’ve been in every ocean.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’m much more in tune with my body and performance. I notice how different foods, sleep and overtraining affect my performance, looks, and recovery.  

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit? Even though I didn’t get the job, I was able to break an all time record during a timed obstacle course for a state law enforcement agency. 

Any advice for people just getting started or new to CrossFit? Give it 3 months and EAT!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I like to do anything and everything on the water. Kiteboard, wakeboard, SUP, surf, spearfish etc. If you can ride it on the water or take it below I probably do it.

CrossFit Games Champion Makes Cover of ESPN Magazine

 ESPN’s The Magazine announced the roster of athletes that will be included in it’s annual “The Body Issue,” and for the first time ever a CrossFit specific athlete will grace its pages.

Two-time CrossFit Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir will join the likes of UFC champion Amanda Nunes, world number one golfer Brooks Koepka, and Paralympian Scout Bassett in what will be The Magazine’s final print edition, to be released September 4.

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