Rant: So you’re afraid to do your first weightlifting meet.

October 21, 2014

I might come off kind of harsh in this post.  But I guarantee that if you are new to the weightlifting scene and are legitimately interested in the sport, I have your best interest at heart.  There are more people doing snatches and clean and jerks now than when I started competing 9 years ago.  Some of these people do it because they like the lifts but like general fitness more and some of them will be drawn to the sport itself.  This post is directed to those who are interested in competing but are too intimidated to try.

My advice is this:

1) Find a coach.  A real weightlifting coach.  One who actually knows how to prepare you for a contest.

2) Don’t be a coward.

3) Stop caring so much.

Coming back to the first point.  I know plenty of people (some who call themselves weightlifting coaches) who can lift weights well enough themselves but know precisely dick about competing in an actual contest much less coaching others to and through a contest.  I might be able to throw a ball 100 mph, but that has no bearing in my ability to make other people throw 100 mph or more importantly PLAY BASEBALL GAMES.  Weightlifting is a game.  To play it, you must know the rules and the finer points of competition.  The more you (and your coach) know, the less afraid you will be to step up to the plate . . . er . . . I mean platform.

As far as the second point is concerned, it’s pretty self explanatory.  You might be able to clean and jerk 60lbs.  You might be able to clean and jerk 360lbs.  Cool.  How well can you display your skill set on the platform?  Can you go 4/6.  6/6?  Can you make your lifts look good or does your 360lb clean look like a train wreck carrying a cargo full of dogshit?  Test yourself.  Compare yourself first to yourself.  Then maybe in a few years, start comparing yourself to others.  Show people how well you know how to lift.

Coming back to the third point, I’ve been competing in weightlifting for 9 years.  NINE.  There might be a handful of people on this earth that can recall a specific performance of mine from last year much less a few years back.  Not one of these people care whether I took first or last place in the Golden West Open in 2007.  Heck, I don’t even care.  All I care about is progress. As long as I keep making progress, I win.  It’s no different then signing up for a rec softball league.  Your kid can put on a uniform and play ball.  You should be able to do it too.

OK, I’m done.  After saying all that, I will also say that I am FOR unsanctioned weightlifting meets run by qualified people to have experience running real meets.  It’s a great way to get people in the door and a certain percentage of people will leave hungry for the real thing.

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