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How Bad Do You Want It

My High School football coach used to give a motivational talk to the team on every Thursday night after practice before games. It was the perfect set up to get you pumped up for the Friday night lights. He would say,

"There's no question you've practiced harder, studied more film, dedicated more time in the weight room, and have done everything right up until now to prepare for tomorrow's game. But... How bad do you want it? If you plan on winning tomorrow night, you're going to have to want it more than the other man. You're going to have to dig your claws in deeper and push harder than you ever thought you could when things get tough - and I can promise you one thing, it's going to get tough. Tomorrow, the team that has put in more work, trained smarter, and stayed focus on the task at hand should win - but only the team that wants it more WILL win. It comes down to how bad you want it. You've got to have a bad case of the wants!"

The winning tradition went on for well over 50 years at Dalton High School and years after my team had graduated and a few head coaches had come and gone, my old high school lost the winning tradition. Truly, there was a spirit to the coaching program that had been passed down from coach to coach about learning to stay focused under the pressure of competition and truly wanting it more. In Weightlifting, this same focus is necessary to grow as an athlete. As you get stronger, you're going to lift heavier and you'll have to re-frame your mind to embrace bigger weights, more plates, greater competition, and new training strategy to continue developing - otherwise, you will plateau. And we all know, PLATEAUS DO NOT EXIST. In competition, its downright scary knowing you only have three attempts for each lift and have to defy gravity by putting large sums of weight overhead. With all of this pressure, its easy to rush through technique, overthink your lifting, and ask yourself "what if I fail?" or "what if I'm not good enough?". These are all attempts of your ego trying to tell you that you're not good enough. But I can assure you - YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Having "a bad case of the wants" is trusting in yourself, trusting in all of the preparation you've done, trusting in your coach and the guide your coach has given you, and coming to reason that you unequivocally are going to find yourself successful at the end of the day because on top of all of that prep you want it more than anyone else! Want it more.

Confidence is an interesting bug that comes and goes, some days its sky high and some days its pretty much buried. If we only ever had great lifting days, we would never understand how to rise above adversity when it presents itself. But when you still have to lift 90% for a double when you've been up all night, feel train wrecked, and swear your coming down with the "-itis" - that's when you grow. Knowing that you've been through the ringer and you know how to lift when things are falling apart puts you a notch above the rest. Embrace the hard training days and use them to your advantage. One bad lifting day or week or even month does not define you as a bad athlete, but it does build you into one hell of a resilient, intimidating lifter. Diamonds are made under pressure and over time. Embrace the difficult and want it more than the other guy. Anyone that's ever achieved anything in lifting or anything else, started right where you're at.

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