Coaches Corner: Optimal Meet Preparation

Coach Shawn and GB discuss ways to have an optimal meet. No matter what the result, you want to be able to say that you did all you could to be ready. 

Our main points are as follows...

Shawn:

1: Visualize everything.  Imagine yourself smoking your opener, and imagine yourself missing your opener.  Think about the people that will be staring at you (judges and audience).  You won't miss an opener if you've taken your opener 50 times because you imagined every variable dozens of times.

2: Sport specificity is not an excuse to avoid weaknesses.  If baseball players only every rotated in the direction of their bat swing/throwing arm, they would have spinal injuries and hip injuries from imbalanced core development.  If you make the case that this concept doesn't carry over to weightlifting and powerlifting, I am convinced you are lying to yourself and use sport specificity as a convenient argument to hide your pride.

3: There is a difference between "wrong" positions and bad positions.  It may be wrong to lean forward excessively in a squat, but that does not mean that a hinge is a bad position.  Athletes must train movement in every direction under a variety of loads and using different tools to truly eliminate weaknesses.  This training approach builds a more versatile athlete capable of recovering from imperfect movement.  Additionally, training load tolerance in different positions will reduce the likelihood of injury should someone find themselves in a "wrong" position.

GB:

1 - Mimic competition in practice. Team GB and Team MissionFit have always taken a half of a training session to hit perfect singles to a competition standard, with a competition set-up, with  people watching for extra pressure. No music, just focus. 

2 - Do positional work. This has benefitted me personally in my gymnastic strength training, and it is being done by some very forward thinking weightlifting/powerlifting coaches as well. Be rock solid and intentional in every inch of that lift and how you position your body. 

3 - Control your variables. This means no new equipment before your meet. Belts, wraps, shoes, singlets, and tape should all be tried and true. If you get something new, use it next meet!

4 - Know the rules! This one bit me in the butt once, and only once. Know exactly what is expected beforehand. A good meet organizer will provide you with these details, but don't be afraid to ask if they don't.