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Beyond the Podium: Why Athletes Are More Than Just Medals

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Articles/Olympic Weightlifting/Beyond the Podium: Why Athletes Are More Than Just Medals

In the competitive world of athletics, particularly in Olympic weightlifting, there's an overwhelming emphasis on pushing the human limit to achieve gold, records, and fame. This intense focus often prioritizes medals and victories, overshadowing the broader, more holistic aspects of athletic training and human development.

But are we turning a blind eye to what truly matters– the development of the athlete as a whole person or the acquisition of medals?

The Core of Athleticism: More Than Physical Achievement

The Olympic motto of 'Faster, Higher, Stronger' encapsulates the essence of competition, where athletes strive to reach the top of the podium, fulfilling their one mission as an athlete.

However, I argue that the true essence of athleticism extends far beyond this. Beyond the motto words or mere technical skill, it encompasses the harmonious development of mind, body, and spirit. Athletes are not simply instruments for winning medals. They are complex human beings confronting challenges like compensation, injuries, failures, fears, hopes, and a life beyond their sport. Focusing solely on medals may lead athletes to sacrifice their long-term health and sport longevity for immediate success, often tied to national pride and personal economic gain. This approach is a short-term one, based mostly on the luck of an individual, and benefits only those with genetic advantages and no injury history, allowing them to dominate the sport.

However, these exceptional athletes are few and far between, and are not an accurate representation of athleticism as a whole. True athleticism should foster an environment where athletes can grow stronger and maintain both physical and mental health.

It is undeniable that competing at the highest level poses its own challenges – needing to perform at the highest standards whilst maintaining a healthy, pain-free body. Yet, if we recognize the ultimate purpose as living and maintaining the human’s body and being, we can shift our focus to the athlete's physical and mental health, enabling them to become even greater competitors, enjoy longer careers, and achieve more records.

The Coach’s Role: Beyond Training to Nurturing

A coach's responsibility extends beyond preparing athletes for competition. It involves nurturing their individual needs, fears, and motivations, and fostering their growth as people, not merely as competitors. That's why I integrate methods like Body Alignment Training (BAT) in the way I coach and prescribe programming for my athletes, ensuring that the athlete’s physical well-being is in harmony with their overall sports performance.

What is the BAT Model?

The BAT model offers a comprehensive training approach, emphasizing a systematic and balanced development of the human body. It starts with foundational alignment and progresses through stages of control, stability, strength, elasticity, and power. This model not only boosts performance for the professional athletes but also focuses on the athlete's long-term health and well-being, reinforcing the idea that humans are the ultimate purpose.

Giving Success in Sports A New Definition

Thus, it is imperative, to redefine what success means in sports especially in the eyes of the public. This new definition must address aspects of personal growth, health, and well-being, in addition to competitive accomplishments. Such an approach is vital for the holistic development of athletes.
Train like a human before you train like an athlete.

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Hi, I Am Gaby

Head Coach of Venus Weightlifting

Greetings! I'm Gaby, Head Coach of Venus Weightlifting club, the first of its kind in China. Curious how weightlifting can advance without exhaustive efforts and stiff bodies? I've unraveled this secret by integrating Chinese medical training and my innovative BAT (Body Alignment Training), catapulting thousands to their personal bests.
Ready to get your new PRs without pain? Let's embark on this journey of transformation together!

Train Like A Human Before You Train Like An Athlete!