Be A Student Of The Sport
By Donny Shankle
If I were to mention the names Lee James, Cheryl Hayworth, Leonid Taranenko, Paul Anderson, or David Rigert would you know who I am talking about? These are all great weightlifters. What kind of basketball player doesn’t know about Michael Jordan? What kind of soccer player doesn’t know about Pele? Not only did all of these weightlifters lift fantastic weights but there was also something preeminent about their character. It was amazing to watch them lift.
By being a student of the sport and studying the champions of the past, we can’t hope to emulate them nor should we. Yet by standing on their shoulders perhaps we can see farther than they did and surpass them. Maybe we can become even greater. By studying past and current champions or other subjects in general which you admire or enjoy learning about, you start to develop more of your mind. Since the mind is at the center of what lifts the bar, who’s to tell you a clever wit can’t help you become a great weightlifter? Who’s to say a sharp mind can’t help you lift more weight?
By being a student of the sport and immersing yourself in study, you begin to develop your own philosophy towards weightlifting. If your philosophy can help you put more weight on the bar, or if what you believe in can help you put in more repetitions during the day, or more tonnage during the week then this is great. By studying the performance of champions you begin to develop more of your own character. You will learn more about yourself as an athlete and person. The more you know about yourself the stronger your identity is and the better weightlifter you are going to be.