Lessons From a Coach II

This weekend I took a team of Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team Members to the MIA Classic in Miami, FL. First I want to say that I had one of the best weekends ever hanging with my amazing team. I also want to say that we will never miss this meet because it was simply an amazing experience with great lifters, great venue, and even better people. Danny Lopez-Calleja is a great meet promoter, and now an even better friend. My athletes came away with two golds, one silver, two bronze medals, several meet PRs, and three lifetime PRs which is as close to perfect as you are going to get. I learn so many things at every meet that I coach in, and this one was no exception.

Hanging out with my team this weekend, I realized that I am blessed to train some amazing athletes. Everyone that I work with has the dream of being the best athlete and person that they can possibly become. Talking with my two Canadian Freaks, Adee and Hayden, they explained to me that the atmosphere of training in a facility where everyone wants to be the best is one of the most priceless benefits of training with Mash Mafia. I don’t even know how it all happened, but I am so thankful to have a team like this.

My Weightlifters, Powerlifters, Athletic Performance Athletes, and my awesome adult athletes all have that same drive and passion. We also have a unique culture where everyone fits and has their place. We love each other even though we might pick a little. We are all in the trenches together trying to be the best and supporting each other in their quest. It’s a very unique situation that I am so thankful that God has given me this to Sheppard. I want to see all of them succeed, and the cool thing is that they know that.

One of the best things that I learned from Glenn Pendlay is to carry a small journal to all meets. In it, I keep a spot for each lifter with their warm ups, game plan, meet PRs, lifetime PRs, numbers they might need to qualify, and whatever else I need. I also keep notes on each athlete because I am so focused on them that it’s the best time to evaluate strengths and weaknesses. I had several of my online teammates at the MIA Classic which was an invaluable time to coach, correct, and plan for future. Coaching Scott Wickline was a true honor because it was his first one. I was able to help make it a positive experience. He posted a great total and took Bronze in only five months of training.

I also coached my friend, Mike Bledsoe. Most of you know him as the host of Barbell Shrugged which were all in town for the meet. Mike wasn’t planning on doing the meet, but fate had a different idea. After we recorded the best podcast of my life, we were talking I basically convinced Mike to get back on the platform. I turned out to be a great idea because he tied his lifetime meet PR, took Bronze, and got back on the horse after a long lay off from competition. Be one the outlook for one of the greatest podcasts of all-time on www.BarbellShrugged.com!

Meets are also a great time to meet other coaches and athletes. Two of the coaches were National Coaches from Cuba which we all know to be an unbelievable program. These coaches had not only coached great athletes, but they had also competed against some of the most historical athletes of all-time like Naim Suleymanoglu, three time Olympic Gold Medalist. It’s so exciting to swap training ideas with these legends of the game invaluable for the melting pot as Jon North would say. Meets are also a great time to meet other people in the industry that are doing great things. Charlie and Danny from Caffeine and Kilos were onsite repping their amazing lifestyle brand which Mash Mafia 100% backs. I also saw my buddies Morgan King, two-time Olympian Kendrick Farris, and several others.

I also learned to prepare a little better for any and all meet conditions. Miami is a little more humid than my team is used to. I should have been a little more prepared with glycogen sparing and electrolyte replacing drinks. It wasn’t a real problem, but it would have helped. Progenex being onsite really helped with any and all of our nutrition needs. Great company!!!! Their Florida rep Kristian Anderson is knowledgeable, hospitable, and a funny dude.

Lessons Learned:

• Recruit athletes that are like-minded! Don’t add mediocrity to greatness!
• Create a Synergistic Culture! This is critical to the success of any training facility!
• Carry a Competition Journal! Use it to track openers, warm ups, goals, and to keep notes.
• Use the time to network, learn, and make new friends!
• Be prepared for any and all conditions

If you are a coach in any sport, use the competition to learn making the whole team and all of its athletes better. I recommend using the time to also get to know your team better. I used my time to love on my team, get to know them, and to understand their personal goals better. For seminar information, go to www.MashElite.com/seminars/! I’ll be in Rhode Island this weekend for a Learn 2 Lift Seminar. To Join the Mash Mafia Online Team, go to www.MashElite.com/join-the-online-team/.

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