This is the week every year where there’s nowhere else I would rather be than Augusta, Georgia. I grew up going to the Masters and since having moved to Texas, every year about this time I crave that golf course. Last year I wrote a week long blog series on the similarities between golf and weightlifting specifically talking about mechanics of the golf swing as compared to the mechanics of the snatch and clean and jerk. Due to the reality that all I will be doing this weekend is watching the Masters live feed I plan to continue that blog series this year.
One of the hardest parts of the golf game has little to do with the swing or the club choice. As we have seen most recently with the downfall of Tiger and you can literally see in every major tournament, the mental game is the hardest part. There are two elements that make golfers elite and put them at the top on Sunday: consistency and simplicity. Consistency is important especially for their swing and their ability to stay engaged in four full rounds of golf. Every shot, every putt, every approach. Every aspect for four full days. Furthermore, simplicity is specifically important in how they swing the golf club. There are so many different elements going on during the golf swing that if they were to focus on each and every part and aspect of the swing they would literally take themselves right out of their natural movement. Most good golfers focus on one thing when they swing the golf club.
Both of these elements are especially important for weightlifting. Consistency, as I have preached over and over and over again, is key to the development of a weightlifter. Consistency in training, consistency in making lifts, and consistency in moving the bar the same way every time you pick it up off the floor. If you show me an inconsistent lifter, I will show you one who can’t make the weights when he needs to and falls apart in competition. Consistency in training creates the capability for performance later. Consistency and movement creates the ability to make weights when it matters.
Simplicity is also very important for the Olympic lifts. I know there are 1000 different elements to each and every lift and anyone who reads this blog knows that I think each element is important. It’s important to understand and implement weight distribution in the feet off the floor, the movement of the hips through the bar at the second pull, and so many other things. However, simplicity is key to performance. When you approach the bar, whether in training or in competition, the worst thing you can do is think about too many things. Overthinking The lift will cause paralysis when it comes to performance. Someone who is thinking about too many elements when I pick the bar up likely will not be able to complete any of them. It’s important when you approach the bar in training in a competition that your focus is on one thing if anything at all. When I compete I generally have one mental cue that is going through my mind that is key to helping me complete the lift. I don’t think about anything else, I don’t think about all the other elements that are happening with that lift, I think about one thing. Simplicity is key here.
More to come tomorrow. Happy Masters week.