Jeromy Bryk – @Bryk_Squuaadd
On December 9 I competed in my 3rd and final meet of the year at my home gym, Old School Iron in Cleveland, OH. It was overall a great success statistically. I squatted a personal best of 622 lbs and totaled 1565 for a 65 lb meet PR in the 198 lb division and had some great takeaways for my training going forward. But more than anything, I felt that this meet was the best I have performed mentally thus far in my lifting career which is something I am very proud of. Heres what I did differently:
- I Stayed Calm Between Attempts: In past meets, I have let myself get too wound up in between attempts, which I have found to be a waste of adrenaline and ended up with me being exhausted by the time I got to the platform. For this meet, I reminded myself to sit down and relax in between attempts and just enjoy the moment. I listened to music that made me feel good, and got me motivated but not overly hyped. I was also fortunate enough to have a lot of close friends from the gym at the meet with me, and having conversations with them in between lifts did a lot for me to stay loose mentally!
- I Didn’t Let the Moment Get to Me: I read about this one in a book called “Relentless” over the summer. Many of the great athletes in history (Kobe, Jordan, etc.) have what is often referred to as the “Clutch” gene, where they come up big in big situations when it matters most. I always wondered how it was possible for someone like these high level performers to show up in clutch time the way they do and, as it turns out, it’s very simple; they don’t let the big moments get to them. They know that they have put in the work necessary and seize the moment when it is theirs. I had some big moments on meet day, taking 600 lbs for the first time on my second attempt was one of them. A 600 lb squat was what I came there to do. It’s the only reason I signed up for the meet. I knew how much I had riding on this moment, but I also knew how much work I had put in to get myself in that situation and knew that it was my time to shine and if I crumbled in this moment I wasted a huge opportunity. In past meets I might have become over-anxious and second guessed my decision to jump from 540 on my first attempt straight to 600 on my second and been hesitant on the attempt, but in this moment I stayed calm and capitalized when it counted. Not only did I seize the moment, but I kept my head in the game and took another big jump to 622 on my 3rd attempt and finished the job. I accredit this success to having the mindset that no moment is too big for me.
- I Had Fun: This seems like a simple one. But I got into quite the rut with my training around June-July of this year and it peaked with a disappointing performance at a meet on July 22nd. I looked all around but did not have the answer for this “block” that was holding me back in my performance. I almost didn’t want to be in the gym some days.
So, I went back to the drawing board and started training the way that I loved again, I got out of my head and had a blast training for this meet. I tried new things and started to make progress again, and soon enough I loved going to the gym again. For this meet I told myself that I was going to go in with an open mind and enjoy myself regardless of the outcome. It worked to perfection. I enjoyed every second of the meet, including preparing my food, showing up, warming up and hanging out in between attempts. I let loose of all of my pressure and self doubts that were placed on myself and got back to having a blast lifting weights and it culminated with my best performance ever as a lifter. I now know that this block I was having was because I was not having fun with what I was doing, and I am happy to say that I rediscovered a key to my success by just simply having fun on meet day!
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