As people, we adapt and learn which allows us to progress. Well, some of us. Others fail to change and thus fail to progress. Either way, when we implement what we have learned (often through failing), we identify certain variables as the cause of the failure and change those variables. Then we see if success can be achieved. But success usually comes after a change is made. As we get older and have more experiences, we can foresee change coming and adapt in preparation for it. This is why I love EliteFTS’s mantra: Live, Learn, and Pass On. It reminds us that not everyone has to make the same mistakes. The one area I struggle with the most to change is my mental state, both when prepping and while competing in a powerlifting meet.
My focus during these different periods is similar, one is just a little more intense than the other. The closer to the meet I get the more serious I become. This has shown to actually aid me in getting TO the meet but not getting THROUGH the meet. If you are a competitive athlete, you know staying healthy leading up to the big game can be just as hard (if not harder) than the big game itself. We push ourselves to the limit and things can break along the way. For me, my mental state needs to be in a place of enjoyment and “fun” when doing a meet to feel good and have everything hit on all cylinders. This is one of the reasons I started doing “prep meets” on the suggestion of an Elitefts Teammate 2 years ago. Since then I always get a “prep meet” programmed into my training with another larger meet (the actual goal) to follow it.
Currently, my prep meet will be at NBS Fitness where I HOPE to be able to hit all my second attempts as third attempts in preparation for my main meet in California on November 12th. This will be a drastic change for me in preparation due to some new variables: travel and lodging, on top of usual variables like competitors and weight cut. All of these things will challenge my mental state, so this Prep Meet is just as much of a tune-up as it is a mental buffer for what is to come. Understanding the process of strength and playing the strategy game of choosing attempts to get the desired total is something I need more practice at anyway.
During the next month, I am going to be focused on enjoying the progress that my friends and teammates have made. Regarding my own strength levels, I need to focus on the positives rather than remembering what is still lacking.