Learning to look back..
When specializing in anything it is important to rationalize time and look back at development. Many times it is easy to get caught up in the now because, well now is now, and the past is the past it's already done...the future is sexy and exciting because you can see it coming... fuck the past right? It's done, there is nothing you can change...it is, as they say.."As it is"
You couldnt be more wrong if this is your mentality...
You couldn't be doing yourself more of a disservice to yourself if you dont recognize that this is your mentality!
We learn from our past experiences both good and bad. We develop based on prior experiences... it's literally how the synapses and nuerological components of your body develop.
Obviously this article is pertaining to Olympic Weightlifting (Athletes and Coaches alike) but this really can be taken into context in many areas of life.
As you rack up time in sport you develop what is reffered to an "Athletic Age". Athletic age is dependant upon many variables and prior experiences can affect it but lets do a comparison to understand this concept better.
Athlete A: Has been lifting for 15 years.
Athlete B: Has been lifting for 2 years.
No one would argue that a 15 year old kid has more "life" experience than a 2 year old right? So why in weightlifting do we get so frustrated as beginners when things dont go the way we want or THINK they should go...it's because you are all toddlers (just kidding just kidding!)
It's because we have a lack of understanding... a lack of experience for what we are currently dealing with so the common reaction humans have to the unknown generally is some sort of "anxiety, fear, or frustration" and guess what...
IT'S PERFECTLY OK!
you just have to learn from the experience instead of going into "flight" mode.
Many times I have seen athletes train for a year or two and then when the going gets tough and the "Honeymoon" phase of lifting is done and they are frustrated, tired, beat up, over scheduled... they usually instead of looking to the past to see how far they have come only look to the future and expect the growth to develop on a steady upward climb when the truth is nothing further from that.
Literally... 4 months compared to 24 months (2 years) look how fucking smalllll that is in terms of time...
The ability to look back at the extremely larger chunk of time and see what great things and progressions you have made in those times is extremely important to be able to do as an athlete. As a coach you need to look at that time period and realize what improvements have come over those times... more than often coaches have just as much a tendency to get too eager as well...we have to grow as well sometimes :-)
Then you have to take those observations of your growth and use them as fuel to rationalize "Damn look what I did in "X" time... if I just keep working then im sure i can keep making great improvements"
Patience is a virtue but the ability to look back for many of you isnt, it's just a few cell phone clicks away to see close in hand how far you have come, how much progress you have made, and realize that with another big time chunk more progress will continue if you appreciate the work you have put in not the small part you may be currently missing to grow somewhere else.
Have fun with learning and growing... I told one of my Junior athletes the other day that if he laughs everytime a lift is totally screwy instead of gets pissed his future in this sport will be long. I meant every word of that.