Being a team player

Let’s face it, lifting alone sucks. Having a training partner is an invaluable resource for many reasons. They can help motivate you, spot you, point out glaring flaws in your technique, etc. However, the ideal situation for training in powerlifting is being part of a team or crew.

A powerlifting team provides a lot more than a single training partner. There will most likely be varying levels of experience, whether in training or competing, and there will be tips, tricks, and ideas that each member brings to the table. A cohesive unit where each member is driving every other member to improve is a powerful force.

Team training is great, but how do you know you’re contributing your fair share, especially if you lack expertise in any one area? If you feel you’re underqualified to offer things like technique critique or programming alternatives there are still ways to be a great contributor to your team.

Show up on time. Punctuality is a great way to show the team that you’re there for more than just your own benefit. It shows you give a damn about the fact that you have a team, and you respect the individuals on it. Plus, if you arrive a little early, you might see how programming can change and how different setups are achieved. And, you can finally get a decent warm-up.

Help with loading and unloading. No one enjoys lugging plates around the gym, but it’s a necessity. If you see equipment being moved and you’re chit-chatting away or on your phone, stop and pitch in. Otherwise, you might soon be loading all of your own plates.

Be supportive. When other members of the team are lifting, no matter their level, show some enthusiasm. Cheer, yell, grunt, whatever-- just make some noise. If someone makes a lift look easy, tell them. Congratulate people on PRs. Show the team that you enjoy everyone’s success, and the team will reciprocate.

Travel for the team. If members of the team are competing in a meet that you’re not, show up anyway. While it might not be as easy as the other suggestions, it says a great deal about you and shows your commitment and gratitude. Be present and help your team warm up, run errands, get food, and most definitely cheer for your team. This is where you truly prove that it’s not all about you.

Finding a team is not always easy, and something that should never be taken for granted. These are the most basic things that are expected of you as part of a team. If you’re not willing to do them or they feel like a little too much work, you may be in the wrong sport.