I have been very fortunate to have been selected to work as coach or team leader for numerous World, Pan Am and Olympic Games. Working with the best in the United States is always an awesome experience! To watch them train and to discuss training philosophy is always an enlightening experience. Their work ethic and mental approach are always fun to explore.
There was one incident that stuck in my mind from way back at the Pan Am Games years ago. It is nothing earth shattering but something that needs to be discussed. Robin Goad has always been one of my favorite lifters – besides being a World Champion, Pan Am Gold medalist, former World Record holder and many time National Champion and record holder, she was also an outstanding representative of our sport and always extremely competitive no matter what the conditions. (Now she can even boast of having a daughter who is following in her famous footsteps!!) In spite of all these glowing credentials, she is still trying to learn more and more to make herself even better.
Men’s National Team Coach at the time, Dragomir Cioroslan and I were walking down the hall of the dorm at the Pan Ams when we passed the room of one of our lifters. In the room where a group of our women lifters were just hanging out and talking. Dragomir and I stopped in to say HI when Robin asked Drago – “What is the secret to weightlifting?” Here was one of the best lifters in the USA as well as the World and she was asking for the “secret” of weightlifting!
What intrigued me about this seemingly simple question, was that it was coming from one of our best all time. As good as she was, she still wanted to get better. As good as she was, she wanted to have any information out there that others might be utilizing for improvement that she was missing out on.
Well, the bottom line is that there is no secret. If there were some magic formula that would make great weightlifters, we would have tons of them. The only so-called secret to success in weightlifting (or any endeavor for that matter) is hard work, discipline, determination and persistence. Having the discipline to work on weak areas and doing what it takes to get the job done. As Vince Lombardi once said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will”. These traits are the “secret” to success. We all have within us the ability to succeed!