Competing for the First Time: Ensuring You Have a Successful Meet
by Alyssa Smith
When competing for the first time we tend to over analyze and worry about minor things that may negatively impact our performance. When you’re going into your first competition there are a thousand different things going on in your head some of them might sound like this:
“I forgot my membership card; what am I going to do?”
“I forgot all of my equipment, holy crap!”
“That lifter is much stronger than me, what am I doing here?”
“Rack Heights? What’s that? Maybe I’m not ready for this.”
The list goes on (and yes, I’ve done all of the above ha-ha). The point is most people are extremely unprepared going into competition and when they get there, they are surprised by small little things they weren’t expecting which make them overthink every little thing they do. This brings on nerves and then equates to a poor performance. All first time lifters can vouch for that- we all make mistakes and that’s how we learn but there are ways to ensure you’re prepared going into your first meet.
Here are 8 things to ensure you have a successful first meet:
- Find a RELIABLE Coach: find someone you trust, who’s been in the game and will be there on the day of your competition. This will eliminate having to think about warm-ups and attempt selections and will keep your mind at ease, with a few less things to worry about
- Read the Rules & Regulations: this will prepare you for commands, competition flow, supplements you can/cannot take and will keep you overall ahead of the game. You’ll know what to expect and there won’t be any unwanted surprises
- Have a Checklist: having a list of everything you need from equipment, membership card, food/liquids, conversion sheet etc… before you leave to the competition will keep your mind at ease and ensure you have all the essentials to compete which will alleviate unwanted stress
- Scope out the Venue: this will allow you to understand where the warm-up room is, where you go for your rack weights/weigh-ins and will help with mental preparedness
- Do NOT Cut Weight: this is one of the most common mistakes I see- lifters decide to cut 10+ lbs for their first meet, don’t give themselves enough time and have a poor performance. For your first meet just don’t do it, it’s not worth it.
- Stop Focusing on What Everyone Else is Doing: Stop watching what everyone else is lifting and focus on yourself and what you’re doing. Remember you’re doing this for yourself and your own goals, not others
- Be Confident: Know that your hard work in the gym is about to be shown on the platform. Remind yourself you worked for the moment and don’t let your nerves get the best of you.
- Have Fun: Build new connections and relationships. Remember to enjoy the experience. Laugh, talk to new people, cheer for others - and you’ll have an overall great experience doing so.