Preparing for a competition: From A to Z. Part 1.

In this series of articles, we will address a little bit everything that you need to know in order to pass (or not) through that step, to become a competitive athlete.


A competition is a huge event in the life of a trained athlete. First of all, it is the fact to be compared with other representatives of the same discipline on a stage - often in really light and short dress - and it is not nothing. It also means exposing oneself, showing oneself, the exhibition, attracting attention and proving that you are the best - and everyone sees those facts already as a challenge. It is an ultimate test that requires not only a lot of work and of sacrifice, but also a lot of work on oneself and some consequent decisions to take in order to change the usual course of life for quite a long time - decisions that will influence the world around you, your work, your relationships, your behavior and so many other factors.

The legitimate question would be to ask " why do we launch into a competition?” The simplest answer that comes in mind is "to show you are the best". So we could say yes ... and no. Above all, we want to prove ourselves we worth something. That we are on good rails. That we finally succeeded in progressing and in doing well, that we did even exceptionally well since we are ready to compete with others in front the public and judges’ eyes. But we also want to find a new source of motivation, in order to motivate ourselves to continue, with even more strength, enthusiasm, perseverance; we want to have more desire and more determination for the future, to overtake other steps, to climb up stairs, to conquer the world our own way.

The path is long before to be ready for this final stage of progression and achievement in the discipline. And it must also be known that most people will not reach that stage – because of fear of the unknown, the lack of interest, the laziness ... the list of causes and excuses can be long. So, what are all the stages that you need to pass through before having thoughts about a competition?

From the beginning to the decision

First of all, everybody begins to train one day, without really knowing how, without having technique, methods or knowledge, often even without a gym but with some apparels issued from the imagination - but driven by various motivations: absence of self-confidence, willingness to change his physique, fed up with getting hit at school, a desire to gain strength to impress his peers and to be respected, to look like the favorite movie star, to be stronger and more powerful In everyday life, because of the gaze of others, as a constructive pastime ... The causes that explain the beginning in a sport discipline are numerous and they are often hiding a big misfortune and the will to change things accordingly, especially if this beginning happens during childhood or adolescence.

Over the time the learning is done –physiology, biomechanics, anatomy, nutrition, supplementation, exercises, techniques. Scientific books, magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, videos, photos, discussions, observations ... everything is good to learn and to improve yourself. We must always question ourselves, always see ourselves from a critical point of view, always upsetting things regularly in all areas in order to progress, still and always, never stagnate, never give up, never discourage.

Sport is a wonderful thing, because it not only allows us to surpass ourselves, but it also allows to change our bodies, our lives, our state of mind, our minds, our discipline and our knowledge, our insurance ... But it also serves as a hard, central core, the guide line in life which, in the hard blows and during dark periods, allows us to get always away and without too much damage, without letting go, without letting everything fall, without getting hurt by falling into excesses of food, drinks, drugs ...When you are one of the people considering the sport has become, over the years, an integral part of your life, then the sport and the corresponding way of life are no longer viewed as constraints.

Training, specific food, diets, weight gain, schedules, fatigue, obligations ... all that life of yours structured around the activity is finally no longer perceived as binding or bizarre by dint of following it. Even more, this life - much richer, much active and demanding than the life of sedentary people - is in the end a necessity, which thus becomes a normal life for an athlete ... and is just a little different from the life of everyone else around.

This process of a normal evolution - if it is maintained and if it is continuous and performed with pleasure and some real involvement - goes one day at a time to reach another level. When one reaches a level remarkable enough to be noticed, or decides he is ready to be compared to others in front of the crowd – that leads to the willingness to compete, to see how one is compared to other practitioners and even to some best athletes of the milieu.

It must be said that by being a simple spectator, you never think one day to meet during some sporting events people who make you dream. So, meeting them when you are on the other side of the barrier, being a part of the event, is something rare and even stronger: you can talk to them as to equals, sometimes even they are part of the judges. And sometimes - the extreme surprise - they are also on stage with you. And, in that point of time, you can measure up to the legends that led us to start the sport ... it is not nothing, it is really something very strong and significant, like passing the torch from one generation to another.

We know why we want to do a competition. But the little click, the moment when one passes from reflection to action, to "that's it, I go now" can be motivated by many different things: a competition that approaches and the sight of the friends or colleagues in the gym preparing themselves for it. A challenge with oneself or others to do it, a travel or discovery opportunity that accompanies it, or an elder who tells you "oh my bro, you have a really nice physical level and a great conditioning, do you want to make a point and to prepare yourself to compete? "... no matter what is the reason, this crucial moment - so long and so hard to come, and so brief and so sudden - is simply very consistent and really serious. Serious because the whole strategy and that huge bunch of work needed to be put in place in order to transform the dream into reality, the speech into act, the dream image into a real image on stage. And then again, it is all about knowledge, practice, common sense, planning, rigor, and a lot of work-sorrows-sufferings-deprivations to follow the path traced, to be ready and to be on the top of the hill that so waited Day.

We will discuss in the following articles - and step by step - the whole plan to create and to implement in order to succeed the challenge on given day. We will describe all pitfalls to avoid and all concrete things to do. Then it will be up to you to see and to decide: take the step or not? Just know that nothing is more challenging to advance to heights than to go through this type of challenge.

Tchoumatchenko Denis

Written by:

Denis Tchoumatchenko

Denis Tchoumatchenko

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