One of the great things about my job is working with an amazing variety of individuals. Our members run the spectrum from 18-65, previous athletes and individuals who have never worked out before, driven competitors and many more who are just looking to get healthy and improve what they are capable of. In the years that I coached, whether it’s martial arts, crossfit, or olympic lifting there has been one consistent trait that I have seen that separates those who succeed, from those who struggle. Hard Work. I see impatience all the time and as performance driven athletes it’s easy to understand the drive to constantly improve the numbers. We live in the age of the internet and instant gratification. Amazon can ship most anything to you in a day or two, you can stream movies or music on just about any device nearly anywhere you are instantly. Training to improve performance, especially for seasoned athletes, takes a bit more patience. There comes a point for every athlete where they key to the new PR is diligent hard work and patience. It doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s the truth and it’s the only way to succeed. I see athletes struggle to master movements or hit a wall on there snatch at a certain weight. As I coach I tell them what needs to be done in order to break through that barrier, whether its a mental block or a technique problem. Often times, however, it’s a bit more than that. Some breakthroughs require a step back and rebuild from the ground up, or simplifying a complex movement into several pieces to improve the whole and to make permanent those changes requires practice, diligence, and time. And this is the defining line between the successful and those who struggle. Impatience. I’ve seen athletes struggle with muscle ups where they simply don’t have all the tools yet to get the movement, they are close but not close enough, similar problems arise with the snatch. Those who struggle beat their head against a wall over and over, attempting muscle up after muscle up or snatch after snatch at the weight they just aren’t ready for. I see the frustration, the impatience, and try to bring a more realistic expectation and set of goals to finally make the breakthrough. And then I see the same athlete back at it, same weight on the snatch a couple of days later or again failing muscle ups again and again. The fix isn’t sexy, it’s taking a step back to rebuild and diligent practice, just as they were told before. The problem is compounded when other athletes succeed where they are struggling, the successful athletes were practicing, day after day, to fix the problem, putting in the time and hard work doing the less sexy grunt work to closer to their goal. This hard work often goes unnoticed by other athletes, but not the coaches. Impatience can make you think there are things you can’t do, or that someone is better than you, when the reality is you simply haven’t put in the work. Life is not easy, impressive performance is not easy, overcoming obstacles is not easy. It requires diligent work, commitment, accepting failure as symptom of the problem rather than the insurmountable end. If you’ve spent any time in the gym, you’ve seen the best athletes struggle, get frustrated, you’ve seen tears, looks of frustration and anger. That’s the result of driven individuals falling short of their personal expectations. It happens to all of us. However, you will also see them go back at it, you’ll see them practice day after day, working their percentages, practicing skill work, and you will see them burst with excitement when they finally succeed. The question is not if, but when. That’s the difference between failure and success. Failure is only a temporary a symptom, it’s only the result when you accept it as the end result.
- National Coach USA Weightlifting - Crossfit Coach of individual and team competitors - Outdoorsy nerd - Owner and Head Coach at BR Fit Club