Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shut up… and become a Champion!

NPC North American

Terry Stokes and Brittany Murchie and NPC Figure Nationals

Congratulations Brittany Murchie for doing an awesome job at the NPC Nationals (North american Championships) this past weekend. Introduced to me by a pro competitor I also trained, the first thing Brittany said to me was: “I will do whatever you tell me to do, I want to go as far as I can.”  Then she preceded to train with me for the next hour. She didn’t say one word during that workout …and she trained her butt off. I knew then that she had the mentality and work ethic to do this.

The goal with Brittany, as with all competitors, was to get better with every competition, which is what she did. She qualified for the nationals after winning the overall title in the NPC Rochester Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.

On my way home I started thinking of what it takes to be successful in figure competition. What do competitors that do well all have in common. You see, on the outside, Brittany looks like the type of competitor who is naturally in shape… not having to work too hard. She never says a whole lot, doesn’t asks questions just to hear herself talk… she makes it look easy. Then I started to think about Laurie who is doing NPC Nationals in 3 months. Everytbody thinks it’s easy for her to get in excellent condition… she never says a whole lot… she trains hard, says little, she sort of makes it look easy! Hmmm…. seems like a pattern.

Then I thought about all my competitors who have repeatedly done well, often against great odds, doubters and haters… and they all had the same quality – they all make it look easy! But… I know the truth!

I know that they struggle like everyone else, I know the doubts they have… I know when they want to quit sometimes after a day of ‘not so clean eating’  –  what I realize is the difference with winners is their ability to focus, to keep setbacks in perspective and bounce back quickly. How easy it is for too many competitors to get distracted during contest prep when things get hard. They concern themselves with things totally irrelevant to their success onstage, they start to listen to everyone who wants to give them advice… they find excuses not to push harder during workouts, or for not following the diet strictly. To become a champion, it’s important not to let irrelevant things distract you. Not to get caught up in the B.S. that often comes with competing.

I love it when one of these veteran competitors (who will remain un-named – but you know who you are) walks through a class and yells: “Stop talking and get to work, you have a competition to get ready for!”

Champions think in a straight line, which is why they don’t say much, they don’t complain and they only ask questions that will help them get better. Often my competitors will wonder why I don’t spend a lot of time talking about certain things, why I ignore them sometimes. I’m not trying to be a jerk. What I’m trying to convey to them is that certain topics/conversations are not going to make them any better or further their progress towards their goal… so I don’t bother talking about it.

Winners ask the question: “What do I need to do to get better?” Winners can be awol for 3 or 4 days and I don’t worry because I know that they still trained hard, they still followed their diet to the letter and they still did their cardio… I don’t have to worry.  All my winners have this trait – the ability to avoid a pleasure now (whether it’s food or just slacking off), for a greater pleasure… in a few months!

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