Before you decide on looking into competing, or if you are competing a few questions to ask yourself before you step on stage again to make sure your competing for the right reasons.
The questions I ask and reiterate to clients is why do you want to compete and what do you want to achieve out of it? Is it to increase confidence and self esteem, increase muscle mass and size, have a better package to the stage from your last competition, to come in better condition on the day, a goal to achieve, tick off on your bucket list etc etc. . . . .
How are you going to do it and the journey, how is it going to fit in with your lifestyle. I say this because I believe competing is a lifestyle and does need to fit in with your work, family etc.
When are you planning on stepping on or back on stage to give your self a rough time frame. Season A (earlier in the year) Season B (later in the year), 12 weeks out, 24 weeks, 12 and 18 months, 2 years? Set yourself a time frame so you have the sub goals ( we spoke about in previous blogs).
What support and guidance do you have? Support being family, friends, partner, kids, work. Guidance being training partner, Personal Trainer, Competition Prep Coach?
How much are you prepared to put in, effort, time, money? How committed are you going to be? All the effort I have seen people put into these competition is amazing but can also self sabotaging closer to the show and all the hard work, effort, time and money can end up going down the drain if the commitment, focus, confidence and consistency isn’t there.
Have you chosen a Category to aim for? Bikini, Sports Model (men, women), Board Shorts (men), Figure, Body Building.
Have you chosen divisions to aim for, First Timer, Novice, Opens, Tall, Short, Weight and Height class, Mums, Teenager, Junior, Masters, Grand Masters, Pro Division to name a few. . . .
Have you chosen Federations Australia and Overseas to compete in, Most have a yearly membership and then your registration for the show entry.
What to look for in a Competition Prep Coach. . . .Someone who is flexible with your times your available, what type of coaching you may need, meal planning, personal training, strength and conditioning programming, posing, stage presentation, online, face to face. Think also the way you want to be coached eg emotional support and more nurturing to get you stage ready, blood sweat and tears hard core coaching, lots of one on one, check ins for accountability are some examples of coaches. Remember to get a gut feeling and that they have your best interest at heart, the more humble the coach the better I believe you will be. Just because they may have a huge social media following or a big team doesn’t mean they will suit your needs. Joe blog up the road who may be new to coaching may be exactly what you need so have an open mind if your looking into a coach.
From a judging point of view and judging can be subjective so don’t take anything personally and be prepared to not place and be ok with it. You get better at competing when you ask judges for their opinion and constructive non bias feedback. Judges are there also to help you with feedback given to you to work on a better package for your next show.
This sport can be very confronting when athletes take things personally so my advice I give to my team is to be better than you were last show and you have already won. It’s about the journey of improving on your own health and wellness from the inside out. The body on the outside is a reflection of what is happening on the inside.
I love this sport competing for 10 years, knowing what your all going through is a huge passion of mine even as a judge over the last 12 months learning so much and seeing everyone on stage is a huge credit just getting up there. I have made so many friends and business relationships and you can make so many friends on the way and you will inspire others who love watching your journey. The trophy is the icing in the cake and yes deep down we all want to strive for that trophy, but at the end of the day that’s out of your control and you need to be accepting of that. Once you let your ego take over and feel you are hard done by then you need to go back over the reasons for competing in the first place and have either a refocus and fire in the belly to strive to be your best or take a break to recenter.
Last thing I will touch on and get asked is Sponsorship or becoming an Ambassador. Sponsorship means you get free things from the company and ambassador means you get a discount. My advice is, step outside of the general sponsors/ambassador companies and look to who you have an affiliation with to build your own credibility. See who is already in your life as a business and ask them if you can be an ambassador for their business. This means you may get discounts from them and you advertise them and vise versa, make sure you pick businesses you love and would have in your life. Once the relationship is building and you both are working together promoting each others business then you may ask for full sponsorship if you feel comfortable doing so. The business needs to know you are promoting them and they are gaining something out of the business affiliation.
I hope this all helps with some helpful tips for potential and current competitors and also anyone coming out of the woodwork thinking of competing again questions to ask yourself to reignite that fire in the belly. . . .Good luck!