Expectation Management in Weightlifting
Weightlifting is a sport that requires dedication, discipline, and determination. One of the most important processes that can make or break an athletes journey and enjoyment in the sport is the management of expectations.
I will frequently see athletes who set an expectation to lift a certain number on a given day. While this is not always a bad thing, it can lead to discouragement and disappointment if the athlete falls short of that number.
A better approach is to go into each session by aiming to do the best you can on THAT given day. It is important to understand that there are many different factors that can directly affect your day to day performance. These can be things like your quality of sleep, your stress level, recovery level, and your accumulated fatigue from training.
Understand That Dips in Performance are Normal
Training involves periods of performance suppression. Because training is a stressor, athletes will experience temporary decreases in performance throughout the training cycle. When the body has time to recover (deload), adaptation occurs. This period of suppression, recovery, and adaption is the basic foundation for long term progress. Periods of suppression can vary in length, and sometimes a lot longer than most of us would like. It is especially important that daily training expectations are managed during this time.
Remember to step back and see the big picture when you're having a tough day. Missing a lift one day doesnt mean youll never make it. The more you stress about specific weights, the more it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and much harder to overcome.
Be Nice to Yourself
I am going to talk a little about my own experiences and what I have learned from them. I am no stranger to the negative thinking trap and have experienced this often throughout my weightlifting career. Typically this happens after several days or weeks of feeling like I’ve “underperformed”. The mental aspect of weightlifting has been one of my largest challenges and it is something that I am constantly working to improve. Have I perfected it? Absolutely not, but I have better tools to help keep myself in check when I start to feel this way. I remind myself that this sport is SUPPOSED to be hard. If I have an off day, I try my best to put it behind me and move onto the next. After all, if you're training hard, you won’t always feel your best. Learn to cut yourself some slack, stay consistent, and trust the process.
Coaches and Athletes will be contributing to this blog. We will be discussing lifting tips, smashing goals, and much more.