IMG_1465nSitting on the early morning plane flying back from iced out Denver to icing Dallas, I have a lot to reflect on and consider from my first Junior Nationals as a coach. I had two lifters that were my responsibility and 3 more that I was helping with.
It must first be stated that the nerves as a coach will always far exceed the nerves as an athlete. So much work put in. So much preparation and yet there is not a dang thing I can do but stand helplessly on the side and hope my athletes perform. I would much rather have the fate in my hands. It’s hard to let go and trust your athletes to make the lifts you know they are capable of. HUGE learning experience for me. Especially if I ever want to really enjoy these things and not be stressed about every warmup and every attempt.
Secondly, meets like this make you really appreciate clutch athletes who thrive in competition and have a hunger for the bar. Athletes that want the bar in their hands with the podium on the line are fun to coach, watch, and celebrate with. I’ve had a couple of meets here recently where that has been the case and the athlete stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun. That was fun!
As I stated yesterday, Chance’s first meet at Nationals was a success as he learned a lot and sits next to me on the plane already thinking about how to get better and show up next year.
Connor sat near the top of the 69kg class and we knew we had to have a good day if there was any chance at the podium. With perfect poise and precision, he went 3 for 3 in the snatch hitting a 8kg meet PR of 110kg. This put him in the hunt for the medals heading into the clean and jerk. Again with precision and poise, Connor smoked his opener at 136 but was called for a press-out at 140kg. Fortunately, the rest of the field was stuck at 140 as well. Connor stepped up. Smoked 140kg on his last attempt and walked away with a 250kg total, a 12kg PR total, and overall gold medal. The last clean and jerk won him the National Championship. Couldn’t be more proud of this kid. The guts and courage it took to step up and hit 140 after missing it was remarkable. Huge win for Connor in his third meet ever.
Connor 105kgnConnor 108kgnConnor 110kgnConnor 136kgnConnor 140kg For The Win