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Being a Team Player & Goal Board Roundup

By admin | In Olympic Weightlifting, Philosophy | on December 3, 2013
Intrepid Weightliftng Class

Intrepid Weightlifting Class

Many of you have grown up playing team sports as a kid;  some of you may still be on a hockey, basketball, or soccer team.  But all of you, by virtue of coming to class, is on a team here.   You all know the joys of setting a PR (personal record) and the frustration of failing a lift.  Even though it seems counter-intuitive, taking the time to watch and cheer on someone else’s set will help you succeed in yours.

Catalyst Athletics posted a great article today by Mike Gray about how to be a good teammate when it comes to lifting.   He lists 10 tips and while the article is geared towards a weightlifting club, they pretty much all apply to us here at Intrepid.   Here’s an excerpt, but take the time to read through the rest of them here.

1. BE SUPPORTIVE! This was something that always took me by surprise my first six months or so in weightlifting: When I approached the bar, I would get tons of encouraging words (probably because I needed them) directed towards me. Personally I think it’s important and it’s something you should do with sincerity.

5. Be humble. I trained with National Champions and Olympians early on and they were all humble, so it always shocked me when I would train with somebody that hadn’t done much of anything in the sport who wasn’t.

6. Help out the new guys. They might be too intimidated to ask and will just keep their heads down and plod away. Give them some tips, and always be helpful.

10. The last one, and it’s the most important: If you are having a [bad] day—and let’s be honest, it’s going to happen—don’t make everyone else’s day like yours. Get behind them and be the supportive teammate you would want behind you.

I’d like to add another tip, although it’s really an extension of #10.  We were at a meet years ago and saw a lifter who missed a lift and blamed it on the photographer’s flash in the back of the room.  This was an experienced lifter who was no stranger to being on the platform, yet he chose to blink and gesture angrily at the photographers and storm off the platform.  Needless to say, the flashes “sabotaged” his next lift as well.   So unless someone walks directly in front of you to where you can smack their behind from your start position, or someone physically impedes your bar path (like the photographer did to Avelyne at a Shakedown competition), don’t play that game.  Everyone misses lifts.  Miss with grace and don’t transfer the blame to save face.

The atmosphere is a huge contributor to how you perform.   Think back to a class when the people were energetic, with some friendly banter, and lots of encouragement going on.  And now picture one of those classes where the people don’t really know each other; they avoid eye contact and no one pays attention to each other’s lifts.   Cheer each other on during lifts and WODs.  Bring a positive vibe and others will follow suit.

So November has come to an end and it’s time to see who achieved their goals on the board. Post to comments your goal, whether it was achieved, and what you did to make it happen. Did you pick too easy of a goal or was it just right?

If you didn’t make it, what do you think went wrong? Did you pick a goal that would take longer to attain or could you have worked harder to make it happen? Be honest. While there is no mandatory ‘punishment’ for not hitting your goal, I would suggest perhaps incentivizing yourself somehow (ie No cheat days/TV/shopping at Lulu until goal is achieved).

Tomorrow we’ll erase the board and start over. This time we’ll have you all write up a one month goal and one two month goal. They can be related (ie 10 strict pull ups, 20 strict pull ups), or completely different. You have a better idea now of what you can accomplish in a month, so choose wisely and work hard.


Deadlift 1×5

Run 800m
3 Rope Climbs
30 Toes to Bar
60 Kettlebell Snatches (53/35)
90 Double Unders

5 Comments to "Being a Team Player & Goal Board Roundup"

  • Mike S. says:

    December 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM -

    I’ve been struggling for almost two years to do a single bar muscle up, so when the goal board was introduced I didn’t hesitate to add that.

    For about a week, I was practicing before and after class, getting tips from several people. Then one day in Venice beach I watched an overweight former gymnast effortlessly doing muscle ups. We started talking, and he was giving me the same tips that everyone at Intrepid was giving me. I thought to myself, “If he can do it, there’s no reason I can’t.” The very next skills class at Intrepid I said I wasn’t leaving until I did my muscle-up, and sure enough I got it after a few tries.

    I achieved my goal two weeks before the deadline. The daily time commitment was minimal – just a few minutes at most, however I think it was important that I spent time every day until I was able to do it.

    1. Ruth says:

      December 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM -

      Nice work, Mike!

      My original goal for this month was to get a regular (no false) grip muscle up. However, I started getting a bit of tendonitis in my elbow so I backed off that goal and focused on my second goal of a 250# back squat.

      I used a loose Texas method where I would squat for volume (sets of 6-8 reps) or use stop or 1 1/4 squats on Mondays. Wednesday would be a moderate Front Squat day (3×3), and Saturday would be a 5 rep max or 3 rep max day. I’ve been on this program for about 2+ months.

      I also kept up on my quad rolling religiously. On the 27th, I planned out my warm up sets carefully so I wouldn’t get too tired before my attempts. 250 was a fight at the sticking point (as some of you saw)!

  • troy says:

    December 3, 2013 at 3:02 PM -

    Although not a huge goal for most I think I fixed my back squat. After 2 months of squatting to different level boxes and a ton of strict crunches, I can now almost hit parallel and hold a proper brace while in the high bar position. It felt so weird squatting to the different levels and making all the small adjustments Marcus, Ruth, and Sean pointed out. I think most people think squats are easy, but one thing i have learned the past few months is how complex of a lift it actually is.

  • Pablo says:

    December 4, 2013 at 6:45 AM -

    To the post first about being a good box mate; Tuesdays WoD was a b8tch. If folks had not encouraged me to complete 50 dubs I don’t think I would have. My tank was below Zero and the words of encouragement pushed me through. Inside or outside the box, help people out.

    As to the Board, I want to learn to do a single hspu this month (terrified of handstands) and learn (yes Ruth relearn) kipping pull-ups within 60 days).

  • Mike S. says:

    December 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM -

    Pablo, your tank was obviously not below zero; it was your gauge that was broken. Now you know what you’re capable of!

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