Sage Burgener writes a blog where she explains all things related to Olympic lifting and food, particulary ice cream. Sage is a first class coach and excellent at breaking Oly-lifting techniques down into simple steps.
Sage recently posted about the impact weightlifting had on her life since she started lifting weights at the age of 4.
What weightlifting has done for me:
1) Taught me body awareness. Body awareness is SO important and can make learning new things a heck of a lot easier. Weightlifting is great for body awareness because you are lifting a heavy a$$ weight over your head, and if you have no idea where your body is in conjunction with the bar, then you’re basically screwed. Lifting teaches you to be in tune to each little movement of each little body part.
2) Taught me how to focus under stress. The great thing about lifting is the competition aspect. You work hard for months and months, and then you get to take all that hard work and perform in front of a crowd and in front of judges. As great as it is, it is also makes you want to pee your pants from nerves! Its just you and the bar up on a platform in the middle of a huge room with thousands of eyes looking at you. Scary or not, it is a great thing for a young kid to experience because you have to learn how to block out distraction and perform under great a deal of stress. That focus transfers over to almost every other aspect of life that requires focus.
3) Learned what it meant to be dedicated to something. Weightlifting taught me how to be committed to something and how to STAY committed even if I hit a rocky road (mmm makes me think of ice cream). that commitment did interfere with my social life with friends, but not enough to make me resent the sport. The rewards I received from the years of hard work i put in, far exceeded the sacrifices I had to make. I learned to set goals for myself and learned that I could reach each goal with my persistence and dedication. Reaching goals, is an important feeling for kids to experience and weightlifting gives you so many opportunities to do just that.
4) Most importantly, weightlifting gave me confidence in myself. There is something about walking up on a platform, approaching a heavy weight, feeling afraid, and lifting that bar over your head that makes you feel such self satisfaction and makes you feel extremely proud of yourself. The feeling of conquering your fears is a hard feeling to match. We all fear, yet we all have a choice: Do we let that fear control us? or do we control the fear? Olympic lifting allows you to feel that fear, accept that fear, and then punch that fear in the face, one lift at a time. With each fear you face, new confidence is brought about and you grow as a person. You grow as a person who believes in his or herself more and more each day. And to believe in ourselves (as children or adults) is the hardest feat that most of us will ever have to face.
Read more on Sage’s blog.