If complacency breeds stagnancy, then being uncontested spawns mediocrity.(well almost.Bench nats wrap up)

If complacency breeds stagnancy, then being uncontested spawns mediocrity.(well almost.Bench nats wrap up)

Aug 30, 2014

Well it’s over and what a scare. I am going to segway a little here and then get back to the wrap up so bear with me. I had a big week of the meet where I moved my first son into college which is a life altering experience knowing he is his own man and not having dad around for guidance. My mind was on this for the whole week and I could feel the meet was a far second. Even after we moved him in it wasn’t till Saturday where a real focus started. I was concerned about my temperament but kept thinking I am experienced I’ll be fine. Well for some time I wasn’t.

I notice that my best performances in the last 2 years have been at, believe it or not, Worlds. Some of my worst, sub-par performances have been at Nationals. A bad day hides itself under the cloak of little or no competition. When there is no one in my class or I have it locked up (a certain place) I tend to make errs. No competition, no pressure right? WRONG. I noticed the trend early this year after being in England (April 2014). I have thought about this for a long time. How can someone perform, under stricter conditions (foreign and world level judges) ,travelling across the globe, against other national champs, and set personal bests? I have gone 22 for 23 in world meet attempts and of those attempts I, at that time, had set 4 personal bests. The percentage of successful attempts (96%) gives the impression of being conservative on my calls but yet this is not true because of the attaining of PRs.

After noticing this I dug for an answer internally and couldn’t quite satisfy myself with an answer. So I asked my girlfriend why this happens and she responded without hesitation. I digested it and guess what, she nailed it!!

I agreed with her completely. She said it is because I am at the highest I can be there is no next level. There is no, if you have a bad day or missed attempts, you then have a missed opportunity to advance. I have made it to my destination, promise land. There is no pressure. At worlds you are playing with house money. You go and perform the best you can and let the cards fall as they may. She is right. At worlds, I have no worries. I am super comfortable and confident at this level . It is the opposite at a national meet where I am jittery before and all the way till after the first attempt ( as you saw this past weekend). Another reason which I noticed for myself is when there are other athletes at my level or higher I am more focused and the intensity cannot be matched.

I said a long time ago in one my earlier articles “Complacency breeds stagnancy.” Well I have built on to it, “If complacency breeds stagnancy, then being uncontested spawns mediocrity. “

I keep stating having a spot locked up or lack of competition disengages maybe one’s fire but I forgot for one attempt one other reason to be focused, bettering myself.

Not true? Let’s get to the meet…..


I woke up fine and felt great all the way to warmups. At warmups something was wrong. My mind and body were not in sync. My raw warmups were slow and sluggish. No worries my next two sets were gear, right? Wrong again. I did them and was not convinced I was “on”. I dropped my opener from 562 to 551.



I was worried that what I feared all week was going to happen .My name is called, I go out and get the handoff. It did not feel real heavy but my mind quit on me because it didn’t feel real light like I expected. It stalled ¾ of the way up and I fought but to no avail. I was SICK! I MISSED my opener?!?!?!

I walked off the platform, looked at Lori and said,” I think I am going to bomb.” I didn’t feel the connection. Mentally I was lethargic with aggression and my muscles responded as they should to my mind. I had a “Whoa is me “attitude.

I kept thinking how I am making this happen by focusing on no competition in the master class but then I realized I was wrong when I was looking for motivation… I had MYSELF!!! Amazing how we forget it is really about competing against ourselves in the end. Yes no one else showed BUT I did!!!

I called for 551 again. I sat in the back with about 17 minutes break wondering what was going on. I have been here and know I needed to kick it in gear. However I was angry, but depressed not motivated (even thinking about bettering myself). 6 lifters out I started getting ready. The gas was there but no flame. Then the flame came in the embodiment of Lori. As I was trying to focus and told her let’s get started she was out of sync with me. After all the times we have done this she was out of her groove. This irritated me and pulling me out of my focus to explain something we have done hundreds of times was insane. We should have been like mimes doing our thing. Having to turn my headset off to go through the setup was unacceptable. Well this is what I needed!!!! I went out incensed and nailed my second attempt which felt light and looked likewise. Everything was in sync!!

I rather hit a PR then do something I already have done. SO my 3rd I called for 594!!! Yes I could have called for 600 but if I missed then I leave with 551 and then question why I didn’t go to 594 which I have never tried in a meet.

In the back I was on my game. I was hungry for my 3rd attempt. I did switch shirts. When I walked out I was ready!!! For safety’s sake I told the hand off guy to make sure the spotters were alert. After the handoff the weight felt slightly heavier considering the huge jump BUT on my chest it felt the same. Near the top I teetered a little but locked it out. When I got off the bench I was unsure if it was good because I could feel my leg drive was kicking in so I’m hoping my ass didn’t come up. Felt like a dramatic pause and then ….GOOD!!!!! A PR!!!!! I was fired up…. I think I hugged everyone!!!

All I have to say is THANKS LORI!!! Unknowingly she got the flame lit…Granted the rest of the trip I was on a leash, lol.


Started off bad but ended GREAT!!! We find out what we are made of by how we respond to failure. Challenges and reactions don’t come in some dummy guide. They disguise themselves and it is up to us to decide how to interpret each.

Next up is Master Worlds 3 lift on September 26 in Czech Republic. Can’t wait to see what that brings!!!

Thanks to The GYM and Tan Line, best place with the best equipment. The owners and members are the most supportive and they are the reason I am where I am!!



I want to also thank Titan Support. The gear is flat out the best and if you fail it is your fault not the gear.

Thanks to IronAuthority, ATP Extreme ,Oxygen Factor, and RockTape.


Till next time.

Focus First.


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  1. Jack DiBenedetto /

    Always nice to come back after a miss and hit a PR. Congrats man!

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