One thing I’m very happy about is how well our post-collegiate throws group gelled this year. It’s nice to have a group of like-minded individuals who aren’t just like-minded in terms of training. We can all come together and have a good time without even thinking about our training. That is absolutely huge, and I don’t think any of us discounts that. It’s always good to be in an environment you can feel comfortable in, and when we can all drive 11 hours from PA to Michigan and not hate each other by the end, that’s a pretty good sign. I guess the overarching lesson here is be mindful of who you train with. If you start training with someone but you don’t quite work together very well, things probably aren’t going to get any easier. A lack of chemistry can lead to distractions and that’s not helpful for anyone. Training partners are very helpful to have, but not at the expense of your sanity!
Don’t sit around and rationalize how you can work around a lack of mobility. You’re only hurting yourself and your training by prolonging the amount of time you’re moving poorly. Not only will you not train as efficiently as you could, but you’re more likely to get injured! Sports are all about movement, and if you have areas of your body that could function better to help you move better, you should address them. Personally, it was amazing to me how quickly I felt a change when I started focusing in on my mobility issues (rather than just general stretching). I got a mobility program from Dr. John Giacalone (GS Athletics’ Team Doctor), and within a few sessions I really noticed a difference. So don’t waste any more time, get it done!
A lot of Olympic weightlifting athletes start around their teenage years (as I did). These I call the “Rebellious Years.” When I started weightlifting, I thought I knew everything. I would lift heavy when I was instructed not to, I argued in defense of my garbage technique for years, I did my own exercises sometimes because I thought what I was doing wasn't working, and most importantly, I wasn't coachable. When I got into my junior and senior years of weightlifting, I started to notice a minimal amount of growth. It was then that I realized that to be a champion you have to have the best technique. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a champion, but my technique was nowhere near the best. As we started breaking down my technique and fixing all my flaws, I found myself extremely frustrated and ready to give up. Slowly but surely, I found myself getting better with my technical movements, however I was still nowhere close to the best. Still frustrated and angry I continue to tell myself “if you would have just listened 5 years ago, you would be closer to the best”