Applying for Ninja Warrior is an adventure unlike any other. Getting to the ANW course is a tempestuous journey through every emotion possible. If all goes well, for a few brief minutes nothing else matters. And if you’ve worked hard & played the game right, you get the ecstatic dream to hit the buzzer on Australian Ninja Warrior.
So how do you get there? What do you need to know to best influence the selectors? How do you contend with the course and avoid falling on the first obstacle? Ultimately, how do you apply for Australian Ninja Warrior?
These steps are no guarantee. I don’t have any inside connections nor sway over the decisions made but I certainly hope this post entices you to get off the couch. I hope you feel inspired to move more and you move a few steps closer to competing on Australian Ninja Warrior. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Firstly: Australian Ninja Warrior is a TV show
The first thing to bear in mind is that Australian Ninja Warrior is a television show. This is an important thing to take into account when making your application. Being a TV show first and an athletic competition second isn’t all bad though. When else can the average girl or guy compete on the same stage as finely tuned athletes and expect to get good coverage? While being an athlete may get you much closer to hitting an ANW buzzer, try not to lose sight of the fact that this is only part of the story.
Australian Ninja Warrior Heat 1 Highlights
Story: Connect with your audience
While I don’t know exactly what the Australian Ninja Warrior producers are looking for, I think remembering the above paragraph will help put you in a better chance to getting ‘the call’. You want to connect with your audience. Contestants are there to get people invested in you and entice them to continue watching. We can’t all be Ashlin Herbert who effortlessly flows through obstacle after obstacle so many of us need to bring something else for viewers to relate with.
You may not need a life-threatening injury or illness. In Season 5 we had a bloke from a small country town, another who likes snakes and a guy who loves glitter. We saw women pushing limits and proving themselves time and time again. The key to all of them is they have a point of difference. Something ordinary to them but perhaps extraordinary in their approach.
So think of something you could connect with. Something unique. Build the story and understand how that could make you stand out amongst the thousands of people who apply for Australian Ninja Warrior each year.
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Fitness: you don't need to be an elite gymnast...
Well, you obviously want to have a pretty good level of fitness. As much as ANW is a television show, it is a very physical challenge. Most of the obstacles contestants face on a Ninja Warrior course are heavily upper body dominant. Intended to be very taxing on your arms, hands and core, each obstacle hopes to crush your dreams and force you to lose grip & fall into the pool below.
While you don’t need to be an elite athlete, there are a few things you can focus on to better your buzzer-hitting prospects. Start with pull-ups, push-ups & dead hangs. A dead hang is simply holding on to a bar and not dropping down. A minute dead hang is a great start. Pull-ups & push-ups will build strength in your arms are a great gauge of how well you’ll do.
Your power to weight ratio will make a difference. Many of the top ninja warriors work on reducing the weight hanging from obstacles while others work on being strong enough to hold that weight for longer. Some ninjas work on reducing the time they’re expending energy and others work on all of the above. The key here is they’re all working hard to put themselves in the most advantageous position on any given course.
Skills: Knowing Your Body & Spacial Awareness
Do you ever get the feeling that some people have been here before? Like they’ve experienced life before? On Australian Ninja Warrior, when you see ninjas tackle the course, this is the first time they’ve been on that exact obstacle. Then why does it look like they have them figured out already?
Most people who do well on Australian Ninja Warrior understand their body well. They’re gymnasts, dancers, rock climbers and free-runners. Basically, they have a good understanding of how to move their body & where it is in their space. Most but not all. Some people have found the interest, grown their passion for ninja warrior and started training (& competing) at local ninja gyms.
Ninja gyms are popping up everywhere in Australia and local ninja competitions are a key attraction. The Ninja Challenge League is our country’s biggest ninja competition series and great way to test & improve your skills before applying to compete on the big Australian Ninja Warrior stage.
Get Stoked: Watch the highlights from Heat 4
Train your mental game: Be Prepared To Fail & Fail Hard
Applying for Australian Ninja Warrior can be an emotional roller coaster. You can be the strongest & fittest person on the course but fail because you weren’t ready for the mental battles that get thrown at you.
Many people who compete in local ninja warrior competitions talk about the mental side to attacking obstacles. Being unsure if you can jump that high, catch the rings, balance at that speed all plays front & centre as you race the course. It’s where understanding your body & how it moves becomes the sword in the fight against your mind. When you run an obstacle course like the one on Australian Ninja Warrior, you’ve got to balance those self-doubting mind games with the pressure of the lights, cameras & millions of people watching too.
With Australian Ninja Warrior comes another mental battle to be ready for; not being selected. When you look at the numbers you can see the odds are stacked against you to being chosen. Thousands upon thousands of people apply to tackle the course every year but only about 200 get the opportunity to run. Sometimes it’s just a numbers game. You might have a similar story or point of difference to another candidate but the producers must choose one. But due to the nature of the beast, they can’t really give everyone an explanation so you’re left there wondering why you’re not good enough. Don’t. As hard as it may be, regroup, keep training & wait for next season.
It’s a tough mental game. It certainly hurts knowing how hard you’ve trained & how well you know you could do to then not be selected. But that’s just another rep in your mental training routine and another experience to help build your mental strength. Being prepared for that is a huge advantage so don’t underestimate the mental game.
In short, the 5 steps to applying for Ninja Warrior in Australia
- It’s a TV show, not yet a sport
- It’s about you, your story and how you connect with the audience
- Being fit, strong & powerful will give you the best chances of doing well on the course
- Training Ninja obstacles for a while will build better body awareness
- Be prepared for failure and the mental battles that come with setbacks.
Apply For Australian Ninja Warrior
Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Have you been training for this your whole life? Ready to tackle the Australian Ninja Warrior Course? Hit the button and APPLY NOW!