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  • Writer's pictureMindset Rx'd

Fikowski's Handstands & His Mindset

Mindset excellence is a lot like holding a handstand.

Brent Fikowski is pretty damn good at both.

To the uninitiated outsider, a perfect handstand looks static. It looks like the gymnast (or CrossFitter) finds their balance point and stays there.*

Nothing could be further from the truth though. Anyone who can hold a good handstand knows that a successful hold is all about micro-adjustments. A great handstand is held not with utter stillness, but with heightened awareness.

The best "handstanders" sense when they're falling, and make the tiniest of adjustments; pressing through their finger tips or heels of their hands, tightening their core, pressing the floor away from themselves; creating or relieving tension.

It appears they're static, but really their adjustments are imperceptibly minute.

The best handstand-ers in the world then, could be defined as those who are aware enough to perceive a loss of balance before the necessary adjustment becomes noticeable. Heightened awareness = smaller adjustments = better balance = a better handstand.

The exact same goes for mindset. Great athletes train their mindset by becoming more aware of when they're losing balance. They sense when they're forcing growth too much and are forgetting that it's the journey which counts. They also can feel when they need to toughen up and quit complaining. Most importantly, they do it before it becomes harmful to their progress, or noticeable to anyone on the outside.

A bad handstand (mine for example) is similarly characterised by huge, wild, adjustments and shifting hands. It's obvious to the outsider that they're barely clinging on. Or, maybe they never kick themselves high enough, fearful of what may happen if they kick to hard (fear of failure anyone?). Possibly they kick too aggressively too, burning out before they even start (who in your box is like this?).

Those who don't train their mindset will fail to sense when they or their environment is shifting, and they'll fall. Or, they'll over adjust - barely managing to hold on. Staying on their hands, but missing the point of the exercise.

Poor mindsets and shabby handstands are not pretty. They're not efficient. They're not strong. They're more likely to create injury to others and those around them. They don't get the job done.

Of course, just like I will occasionally kick up into a perfect free-standing handstand for about 2 seconds, the athlete with an untrained mindset may momentarily experience the euphoric freedom of peak mental performance. Yet it will soon slip by and they'll spend the next year trying to blindly trying recreate that moment. (superstitions anyone?)

What they miss, is that they have to train their mindset, just like a handstand. They have to invest the hours in their journal and/or in regular training with a mindset coach.

Want a better handstand? Better practise handstands. Preferably, get a coach to show you how.

Want a better mindset? Well, I'm sure you can guess where I'm going.

A conversation with Brent today pointed out just how much his mindset has grown (and it was already impressive). He pointed out all the micro adjustments he's been making over the last month or so and how he's noticed them early on. This is the champ's mindset on display.


Coach Tom

*When we're not aware of the fact that the best handstands are ones of constant adjustment, it also looks like those who hold the handstands are somehow different from us - better than us. The truth, of course, is that they've just trained it more.


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