Beating Your Personal Best

As you may be aware I was away this weekend watching the World Pole Sports Championships in London. I also went the year before, so it’s really interesting for me to be able to see how the competition has progressed – both in performer standards and styles, as well as how the competition itself and the organisation has developed.

One of the things that interested me most is that competitors are now told whether they have beaten their personal best. Obviously this can only be for competitors who have performed in a competition with the same scoring system, as competitions vary so much on how you are judged.

Adding A New Element

I think we, as a society, can get so caught up in the winning – who places first, or wins what tournament. I know in the pole world it doesn’t have to all be about the winning. For me I want to perform as well as I can. I usually perform my best when I am in front of an audience and as long as I achieve that, then I’m happy.

I always think that to a degree it depends on who else turns up to each competition as to how well you place. For example, if you enter a competition where you are the only one, obviously you are going to win – as long as you don’t do anything to disqualify yourself! Where as, if you enter a competition with 42 other competitors you suddenly have a lot of competition. So when it comes to performing should we just try to do our best and try to beat ourselves, rather than focusing on outperforming the competition?

To Beat Yourself

So to beat yourself on points means that you will need to enter the same competition (or one run by the same company) to make the scoring system is consistent. Assuming it’s an annual competition, hopefully you would have trained a lot during that year and have been able to improve. You might also understand the scoring system better and up your points just by realising how they are awarded.

That said, as you improve the level of difficulty within the scoring system also increases. There will be new moves that offer you higher points and the previous high scoring moves will become less so.

Remember when the Iron X was the hardest move around?

What Competition Suits You?

There are some competitions that are not as strict in how they judge – some are more technically marked and others are based more on artistic impression. A lot of it can be personal opinions based on marks out of ten. When the marking system is more open to interpretation it can be less consistent, and this is where I think you need to focus on beating yourself. You will most likely get some kind of score sheet in each competition and know the marks you want to beat, but unless you have the same judges it is unlikely that you’ll be marked in exactly the same way.

So for competitions like this, I think it’s important to judge yourself. Watch your playback and see how you think you did – did you point your toes, were your angles good?

As long as you have performed to the best of your ability and are happy with how you did, that’s all that matters. There’s no way I can compete with the pole contortionists out there, so when I nail flat splits I’m pretty chuffed with myself! I know how well I can do each move and so can compare each performance with video playback, rehearsals and previous attempts at moves.

So what do you think?

Do you like the idea of competing against yourself, and having that be the biggest driving force? Let me know what you think 😀

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