The Range of Death

What's up everybody. Welcome to Dane's strength secrets where I bust your false beliefs around training and inform you on all methods Garage Strength, so what is today's topic? Today's topic is what I call the range of death. And although that sounds horrific and awful and terrible that we're going to be dying, no one is actually dying. It's just my too imperialistic or too negative view of the age of struggle and growth for Olympic weightlifters specifically. I want to go over this because from that age of around 18, 19 years of age to 22 to 23, it is the absolute hardest point in an Olympic weightlifters career to maintain their performance, to maintain their growth, to maintain what they're doing as an athlete and to maintain any semblance of regular life in reality.

 

One of the things I've noticed over the years is, you know, I've been involved with so many different sports like wrestling, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey where athletes have come and trained with me and they've been fortunate enough that they're competing in different sports that have an NCAA sanction. So they are competing in a sport that the NCAA has and provides, and there's a team structure so you can get to the collegiate ranks and compete in these various sports and you're guaranteed to have a coach, whether their coach is good or not, you're going to have that coach. You're going to have that team setting, you're going to have gear, you're going to travel together, you're going to have that support group, social support team support, athlete support trainers, all this stuff. The difference is, in a sport like Olympic weightlifting, there's only a handful of Collegiate schools that have weight lifting. Schools like East Tennessee, Louisiana state at Shreveport, and Marian College where Dan Brown is the coach. Dan Brown is probably the best collegiate coach for Olympic weight lifting, but what ends up happening is, and I've had this happen about three or four times at my own gym. Actually, I think we're up to four, where it's really, really hard to get through that age point because one, athletes might go to college and they might go to a school where there's not a club and there's not a team and they have to learn how to train remotely and from this age of 18 to 24 and this for me personally was 100% true. When I was 18 to 24 that was the dumbest period of my existence. I was the dumbest Dane Miller I could have ever been. I didn't listen to adults, I didn't have a guide. I didn't have somebody sort of grabbing me by the neck and telling me what to do. I knew my dreams where I wanted to be an elite shot putter, but I didn't really hold myself accountable to do that.

 

I also thought that I knew everything because that's what you think when you're going to college or when you're at that age, you've got all the answers. So what I've seen is that there's sort of two camps here. There's the group that goes to college and maybe they just slowly Peter out of the sport, they like to do it for fun, they like to be involved in it, but as they go through the collegiate ranks, they are involved with other things and life happens, right? Like maybe they have an interest in another sport or maybe they have more interest in a major or they go and they have an internship and they make really good money that summer at an internship and all of a sudden they're an adult and they want to make money and that's perfectly fine. Life happens. I would say we have a kid right now that's in that stage, you know, he's partially in school, but he's also got a really good job and he ends up moving to the big city and that's life. That's okay. If you're happy as an individual doing something else currently and your satisfied that's okay. That's life. That's okay as a coach to accept that people move on and become adults.

 

I think the areas where I struggle is when I'm dealing with the other two. So if we think about three, the three being someone goes to school, they start to be successful in another area and they just slowly get out of the sport because the success elsewhere and they're motivated by something different. That's one area. The second area is athletes that might lack support or they have support, but they're going through this growth period where they think they have all the answers. They think that they're the smartest and they butt heads with their coach and they've got all the answers. That's the athlete that ends up having six different coaches throughout their athletic weightlifting career. Those are the group where it's sort of tough for me to deal with where, and I actually just had somebody to do this online that I was working with and he was a very talented weightlifter, but he didn't believe in my technical model and he has all the answers and he believed that he was essentially a better coach for himself than I was and so was his former coach that he had left and now he's gone back to them.

 

That's fine too. That's just life. That's something that we have to deal with. I think the hardest part is when, and I have another individual who just left the gym who I care deeply about and she cares deeply about me but this age, and you know, I'd even lump Jake Horst into this right now cause Jake works full time and what ends up happening is maybe you don't go to college and there's not a lot of funding right now heading into the Olympics because a lot of the funding is going to the people who are still games eligible. Then on top of that, there's not going to be a ton of funding post-Olympics because there's going to be a regroup of the system, which has already happened, but there's going to be a full-blown analysis of who we're going to fund for the next quad. So what we're going to see in weightlifting is that this period right now that we're in to just after the 2020 Olympics. So basically over the next year to year and a half, we're going to see a lot of juniors that go into the senior ranks that basically just fall off the map. If I'd use Jake as an example, Jake's the US National Champ two times now he's made a junior world team and hopefully, he can make a senior team in the next year. Now Jake works full time at Garage Strength, 40 hours a week and he works all the time and he's got a balance that works with his social life and he's got to balance that with his training and it's tough, dude. It's hard. It's hard to do this. It's hard to be an adult and to train at a very high level to try and make ends meet and try and accomplish your physical goals, your emotional goals, your dreams of making these teams it can be very, very difficult.

 

What ends up happening again is that there's not a ton of support. So some of the stuff that we like to do at, Garage Strength to put support in place is we've got a house that people can rent to live in. We've got supplements on-site that you can use to try and help aid your recovery. We've got a local, mobility doc, Dr. John Giacalone, who can provide support from a bodywork, chiropractor/physio and he's more so a physio than anything else. As a doctor that's local, that can help with that support. And then we've got Garage Strength athletics, which is a nonprofit that tries to provide financial support for the coaches and for the athletes, giving them per diem when we're traveling. So we try and put all these things into place to help make ends meet so it's more affordable to be in sports because we recognize that this sport is a sport of attrition. Whoever can stay in it the longest is going to be the strongest, right? Whoever can accomplish things over a long period of time and stay healthy and stay financially healthy and stay socially healthy and have these dreams, they're the ones that are going to succeed, And that's the hardest part. This is, this is the hardest age, is that 18 to 23, 24 years of age because one, again, we're dealing with idiots. I was the dumbest Dane Miller when I was 18 to 24. I would have been the hardest person to work with because I had all the answers and I didn't want to listen to anybody. Two were life happens. You have a relationship or you get a job and you're successful elsewhere and you have those goals to go elsewhere.

 

That's fine. That's great. That's perfect. Then finally, the issue of, it's really hard at that age to grow up. Now you've got to pay your bills now you have got to pay for your cell phone, you got to pay for your car, you got to pay for your rent, you got to pay for your own supplements. Mommy and daddy aren't holding your hands. It can be really, really difficult. For some junior to senior lifters, it's brutal to watch happen cause you can just see situations imploding. And you see the athletes tend to play the victim card and they blame other people and they struggled to have accountability because they're still immature. And again, this is okay, but what it comes down to is the athletes that figure out how to manage stress the earliest are the athletes that become the champions, the ones that make teams as seniors, the ones that can be successful in other aspects of life and still make those teams and still accomplish their training goals in their athletic goals because they learn how to manage stress earlier than anybody else.

 

If you can learn how to manage your schoolwork or you learn how to manage your work where you're getting paid and you learn how to manage training and you learn how to manage the pains that come along with training, the mental struggle, if you learn how to balance, Hey, I'm, you know, telling your your work, I'm going to be gone this weekend because I'm going to a competition and managing that stuff as well. There's a lot of factors that come into being an adult and during this timeframe, a lot of people learn and a lot of people don't learn. And that's where this range of death as we call it, where the people just slowly Peter out of the sport, It's because one, it's harder because there's no NCAA system like I was talking about in the beginning. There's no fully funded system where athletes can go slowly to be developed and then get out of the sport and continue to develop post collegiately.

 

There is Marian by the way, Marian is where Dan Brown is. I just thought about that. There are five or six teams, but they can't have every single weightlifter in the US at just five or six team. So what we try and do again is as a private club is trying to provide that backup and provide that support system so that the stress is a little bit easier on me as a coach. I try and say, Hey, you know, Kutztown universities nearby Penn state, Berks is nearby RACC, Alvernia, and Albright. All these colleges are nearby. So if we can provide the support system while they're still in college or if they're getting a job, make sure you're talking with your boss. Make sure your boss knows your goals, make sure your boss knows this, make sure you're paying your rent and make sure paying your cell phone, make sure you're not getting a speeding ticket.

 

Make sure you're checking your oil. Make sure you're doing the things that adults take for granted that kids have never learned. And that's where it's important for coaches to play a bigger role than just being a coach. We've got to create training systems that decrease stress for this age range so that we can optimize the development of the sport of Olympic weightlifting from going from being a youth to being a junior to being a senior so that we can continue to develop these teams, these great teams over a long period of time. So check out blogs on this, this topic. Head over to garagestrength.com you can check out some different aspects that I have. If you want any extra information, you can enter in your email address and we'll send even more information on failures of the training systems that might be occurring that are, that are noticeable. This is a really important topic and hopefully, we can figure out the funding on a private level so that we can have a bigger impact as coaches and continue to develop these freak athletes over a long period of time. PEACE!

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1 comment

  • Speaking of the mobility doctor, did you ever think of having him in house once a week or month?

    Brian

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