Bruce Lee once said, he was not concerned about someone who had practiced 10,000 kicks. He was more concerned about a person who had practiced one kick 10,000 times. He was concerned about the opponent that had put in the deliberate practice to make one move as perfect as possible and therefore as efficient and effective as possible (and in his case perhaps deadly). For those of you who know me, I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan. Back in Vince Lombardi’s day (you young whipper snappers won’t know who he was, but Google him) he had the Packers run the Green Bay Power Sweep. They practiced it to perfection and even though the opponents knew it was coming, they couldn’t stop it because it was that efficient and that effective. They drilled it over and over again until it was perfection and a beauty of a play to see. The key in both examples is deliberate practice. For the weightlifter, that means focusing all of your attention on that one lift in front of you in your training session. It is important to focus in competition when there is more pressure and each lift means more, but I’m talking about doing each lift with that same focus, that same intensity in practice. That is hard to do with everything else going on in the gym, the music, the training partners and other distractions. But the key is to make every lift as focused as possible, whether it be a 50% warmup weight or a max attempt. The mind and the body have to be deliberately trained to hit that perfect lift every time. Get into the mindset where every time you step on the platform and touch the bar, it is the same routine, the same focus. The more you practice in this deliberate way, the more it becomes automatic and you get into that zone more easily. Most importantly, when the competition does come around, it has become second nature to be focused and “in the zone” every time.