The lessons learned on the platform extend far beyond training or competition. They are part of our life. I’ve been lifting for 10 years now and to this day I still enjoy it very much. However, there are life long lessons learned on the platform that have extended into my personal life. Below are a few of the most important lessons learned.
Weightlifting will teach you patience. Patience is one of the most important and most valuable skills needed to ace life. The truth is we value things that we work hard for. Things that are given to us are perceived less valuable. In Weightlifting, patience is a requirement to achieve life long success. A lifetime PR in the snatch or clean and jerk can take years just to add 1kg. Success does not come fast or easy in Weightlifting and neither in life. Patience is a much needed skill, and a much needed character trait for life.
When you feel frustrated that results aren’t happening that’s when you need to summon patience.
Weightlifting teaches you resilience which is the ability to recover from difficult situations. Resilience is toughness. You will have very challenging times in Weightlifting. You will go through periods where you won’t make progress for a very long time. There will be periods where you will be injured or be in pain. Matter of fact you’re practically in pain all the time!!!! However, despite the difficulties you find a way to overcome. You become tougher. Your capacity to overcome difficult situations becomes greater. I can tell you from personal experience that the most difficult situation for me in Weightlifting was when I broke my back in 2014 and had to live each day wondering if I would ever lift again. Fast forward several years later and today I’m stronger now than I was then and in position to establish new lifetime PR’s. And this resilience extends to your personal life. Your capacity to endure difficult situations outside the platform is greater because of Weightlifting. You might be a student athlete who has to juggle between training, competing, going to school and work all the while challenging for PR’s. You might be a professional in your field who has to juggle between career, family and setting new Weightlifting goals. Weightlifting works because it’s hard. And that’s why it works. If it was easy you wouldn’t appreciate the results.
The longer you do Weightlifting the better your mental game becomes. When you first start Weightlifting your thinking goes like this:
“I’m not so sure about this.”
“Is coach crazy? I don’t think I can do this.”
After years of training your thinking changes to something like this:
“Oh yeah let’s do this!”
“I got what it takes.” “I can do this.”
“I’ve done this before I can do it again.”
Your mental confidence increases. You will always have some anxiety or fear. It’s normal. But confidence and experience take over and allow you to step into courage. All this comes from your thinking. Physical strength is important but more importantly mental strength. While it’s OK to socialize and function as a human being during training don’t give up space to develop your mental strength. This requires deliberate thinking towards doing what is needed for a successful lift. When I take my training very serious such as before a competition I need space to channel my mind with only constructive thoughts. My mental game needs to be strong in order to lift weights that potentially can kill me.
A strong mental game minimizes errors and increases potential for success!!!
Give yourself space to develop your mental strength.