01 Don’t compare yourself with other lifters
It doesn’t matter if you lift less weight than your competition; just by stepping out on the platform you are already winning over anyone who is too scared to do it. The weightlifting community has a stellar reputation for being supportive and everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Get out there, give it your best and become addicted to the dedication, the work and the competition.
02 Don’t stress about your weight
Chances are you will already be stressed about lifting at your first weightlifting meet, so there’s no need to add extra stress when it comes to weigh-in. When you register for the event be sure to talk with your coach and choose a weight class you’re comfortable with. The only time you may want to consider moving a weight class would be if you have been training a while and have a chance to qualify for another event.
03 Don’t forget your coach
Coaches are pretty important people…they help with a lot of important things, like, giving the officials your opening numbers, keeping track of the cards, timing your warm up to give you the best chance of hitting your competition lifts, giving the officials your weight for subsequent attempts and keeping you calm in the midst of all the chaos. If your coach is unavailable or you are an unaffiliated athlete, don’t be shy and ask around to see if another coach will help you out.
04 Don’t be too risky
The week before and day of a competition are not the times to try new things. If you have a quirk in your snatch but it’s nothing that will get you a red light then just leave it…you will have plenty of time to work those things out after the meet. Also, the day of the competition is not the time to try new equipment, apparel, shoes or even new foods/supplements to your diet. Go with your familiar routine and wait to experiment until after the meet.
05 Don’t go crazy with your opener
One of a weightlifter’s biggest fears at a competition is bombing out (not hitting a total); this is true for new and seasoned lifters. Since this is your first meet it will be beneficial to be conservative with your opener, talk to your coach and choose a weight you can easily hit. There will be a lot of nerves and distractions, go with a number that you can hit a total with and help to build your confidence as you get acclimated with the competition life.
At the end of the day, the most important thing when competing is to just have fun. This might be your first but it won’t be your last. If you bomb…that’s ok, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn from your mistakes and hit PRs at future meets.
Lu Yong, a defending Olympic gold medalist, bombed out of the 2012 London Olympics with his Clean and Jerk…even the best lifters fail at some point.