Debrief: Colorado State Championships
Elite Barbell Club had its biggest showing last month (February 11-12) at the Colorado State Championships hosted by Pinnacle Weightlifting Club. We had 19 athletes compete and every weight class was represented except the women 90/90+.
It was such an amazing weekend and all our athletes did so wonderful. In just nine short months of being a barbell club we now have the best Men’s Weightlifting team in the state of Colorado and we have the best male lifter in the state. Elite Barbell accumulated just under 3,000 kilos in best lifts on the platform. We had an average of 4 for 6 lifts made, seven of our athletes competed for the first time, and ten of the lifters that had competed before PRed. Our club presence at the gym totaled 30 hours over the course of two days.
Proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about this weekend. I am blown away with the dedication, team effort, and support that each one of the athletes, friends, and family members showed. We had people there encouraging our lifters all weekend. The support was a great thing when lifters were fighting to get a few more kilos on the platform. However, when it comes to the warm up area, the support was not always as welcome; we do love you all, just not when our athletes need to be focused ;)
With so many of our athletes being new to weightlifting there were bound to be a few head scratching moments for the coaches. I will keep the names to myself to protect the innocent but you all know who you are. Things like not bringing sweat pants only jeans, not bringing food for after weigh ins, and weighing more than two kilos under the weight class you cut to be in. Or conversations like these:
Coach: “Ok, take the bar!”
Athlete: “Take it where, do I get to take it home?”
C: “Just warm up, with the bar, you know, start moving…”
A: “I don’t do that, I don’t ever warm up with the bar, I just add weight”
Athlete: “I need to go wash my hands! There is chalk on them”
Coach: “Um, we are at a weightlifting gym, there should be chalk on your hands…”
A: “But I need a snack!”
Athlete: “Coach! Why did you get these gummy bears? There are yellow ones in mine!”
Coach: “Is that a bad thing?”
Athlete: “Yeah, the yellow ones are gross!”
Coach: “Well I looked through them all and gave you the one with the most yellow ones in it, you’re welcome!”
The system and efficiency of the warm-up area became a little factory each day. We claimed a platform, and we started rolling! We found our athletes, made sure they were weighed in, dressed, ready, and fueled up. We counted cards and got them moving. Once they had lifted and were done, the next group came onto the platform to get warmed up and the group before claimed their awards.
A couple highlights for me was getting out of the gym so late, the only place open was Buffalo Wild Wings. Three lone survivors from the first day made it over there and we sat in silence until our food came, and then we just ate really fast and left. I love the athletes who are so anxious we have to tell them so many times to sit down and not to worry because we got it covered! The athletes who ask so many questions about what is going on, and the athletes who are too afraid to talk. Phrases like: “nerves are strength”, “have confidence in yourself because I do”, and “be aggressive and finish your lift” were always right on the tip of my tongue. I also wish I could count the amount of times I asked, “how did that feel?”.
I am excited for the next meet our club attends because we are starting to make some big waves in the Colorado Weightlifting scene. Coaches began asking me about our club, where we train at, and who coaches. It was always a great conversation that I got to tell them all about who we were, how we were so new to this, and the amazing athletes we have.
I really want to give a huge shout out to all those who competed with us for the first time. Thank you for taking the chance and signing up, we love that you get to share our passion for weightlifting! And a big thank you to all who came and supported the team, I hope you sign up for the next meet!