A WCA competition is a collective gathering of cubers, the main aim of which is to have fun cubing and garner a positive spirit of competition! Nearly all WCA competitions are open to competitors of all ages and experiences, meaning that first-timers and newer cubers are always welcome to compete and have fun. In fact, the aim of organizing competitions is to expand the sport of speedcubing and encourage more participation.
However, most newer cubers feel a certain amount of pressure before registering for their first competition, due to a variety of factors. This article will tell you why it’s ALWAYS a good idea to register for a competition and get that exposure, as well as make you understand the benefits of competing.
What holds you back?
First, let’s discuss the reasons why one might be hesitant towards competing. The usual WCA Rubik’s Cube competitions usually have about 100 - 150 competitors on average, meaning that a lot of people will be there, from novices to veterans. It might be intimidating to participate in front of people that you know for sure are better than you, making you question attending them.
However, remember that the cubing community has always encouraged new cubers and these experienced cubers will be the happiest to see new people join the community! You will receive a lot of tips if you ask, and also a lot of motivation from people to do your best. The competitive atmosphere is never one of toxic competition, but rather a place where a fun hobby is converted into an activity of pure joy.
Next, the most popular reason why newer cubers think they shouldn’t attend competitions is that they’re “too slow” for them. This is a huge misconception and the fact is that there are always people who are faster than you as well as people who are slower than you. As long as you can solve the Rubik’s Cube in under 10 minutes (which is the usual competition cutoff), you should totally go and give it a shot! Who knows, you might break your personal best there.
Finally, another reason why some Cubers hesitate to attend competitions is that they feel nervous about competing and treat it as a stage where they absolutely have to perform well. However, this is completely inaccurate, and the truth is that there is no actual compulsion to do well! All that matters is that you have fun and make new friends in the cubing community.
Recommended Read - Methods to Manage Nervousness at Competitions
Competing as a Beginner
If you’re still a beginner (whatever you define as for yourself), you should totally begin going to competitions. Attending competitions not only gives you motivation to improve but also exposes you to so many new people and cubers. You could learn a lot more at competition than at home, which is a perk of being a part of the community!
Also, competing gives you the pathway to set goals and try to achieve them with the constant support and persistence of those around you. Seeing others practice hard and achieve their goals is almost inspirational, which motivates you to set your own and improve your official stats as you climb in the rankings.
So, think of the nerves and anxiety as good parameters instead of them usually being bad, since they promote healthy participation and involvement in this case.
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Benefits of Competing
Thus, we can summarize the benefits of competing as follows:
- You get to be part of a community that enjoys the same things as you, giving you a sense of belonging and fulfillment like no other.
- You get to garner a competitive spirit within yourself, that is healthy for both you as well as those around you.
- You meet people that can help you improve at cubing as well as make friends that will outlast just the hobby you’re involved in.
- You have a chance to become really good at something that began as a hobby and turned into a sport, making you more satisfied.
- You learn to deal with nerves and anxiety and improve your responses to these things in your own life.
- You set goals and work towards them, another attribute that pours into other facets of your life, making you productive and happy!
How to find Competitions near you
Next, select the “Region” you’re looking to attend competitions in, and voilá! You now have a list of available competitions there and you can select the one you’re interested in attending!
To conclude, it’s useful to note that the only thing holding you back from enhancing your cubing journey is you. The moment you begin attending competitions and meeting new people, you will realize the beauty in being part of a community that does the same thing as you and is working towards the same collective goal.
So, what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest competition and enter a world of opportunity and amazement waiting for you on the other side!
Read More - The Ultimate Guide to a WCA Competition
Akshaansh Chilakapati is a speedcuber from Hyderabad who specializes in big cubes. He started cubing when he was 15 and has 5 years of cubing experience. He loves to play sports, and music and has a passion for astrophysics. He has attended 20 competitions and won a total of 64 podiums with 16 gold medals. He is also ranked 13th in India for the overall Sum of Ranks (SOR).