So You Didn’t Place at a National Show

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This was originally written in 2012 and I am re-blogging as a reminder for those competing at the national level to keep it cool. Enjoy!


Team Universe was this past weekend with about 600 competitors between men and women’s bodybuilding and physique, women’s fitness, figure and bikini.
Just like any national show, the roster of events is quite overwhelming and the days are long. It is very exhausting.

You train your ass off to compete among the best of the best from all over the nation and then …you don’t even place.

The other day my Facebook status read something in the lines of me not liking to make negative comments about any woman who is a competitor and her physique or how she looks on stage. Same for men. I try my hardest to not do this because I sure as hell don’t want it done to me. I don’t want to hear someone commenting and highlighting all my flaws.

There’s a difference between constructive criticism and useful feedback and just plain s**t talking.

As I was walking to and from my car during Team U weekend I could spot tons of beautiful women and men…gorgeous really, from the lobby all the way out to the parking lot. But damn when you see these beautiful people complain and whine and downing the other competitors because they didn’t place it begins to bring out the ugly out of people abs bodybuilding competitions altogether.

2010 Atlantic States

Here’s what I have to say about those who complain about their placing:
First of all, you should already know that this “sport” is subjective. How many times do we have to go over this? If you are not in it for yourself because you already love fitness and bodybuilding and think earning a pro card will suddenly change your life then quit now. As an athlete and competitor you should already be doing things to promote yourself and be a part of “something”. A pro card should be the icing on the cake.

There are tons of amateur athletes who are doing an excellent job at reaching the larger population, get endorsements, etc. without pro status. If it is a personal goal of yours to achieve, treat it like any other goal in life – it has its ups and downs and no one else is to blame or fault for it when things don’t go your way. That’s life.

2010 Atlantic States

Second – it is a NATIONAL show.  All of the women and men train just as hard as you….maybe even harder.  The number of competitors at a national show is sometimes quadruple to that of a local shows. Could you imagine how difficult it must have been to judge that show? I have test-judged a larger local show years ago and I wanted to cry! Not the easiest thing. That means you really have to stand out the minute you step on stage to grab the judges’  attention.
Third – winning a smaller regional or local show is totally and completely different from placing at a national show. Regardless of your placing, you should be HONORED by the experience. It takes a tremendous amount of b**lls and dedication to step on a stage, let alone a national one. Check your attitude before you go up there thinking you are owed something! BE GRATEFUL and BE GRACEFUL! Don’t bad mouth the judges and your fellow athletes! Show SPORTSMANSHIP!
Fourth – ASK for feedback and BE ABLE TO ACCEPT it. If you are a bit sensitive or hurt about your placing do NOT go up to a judge feeling like this and ask them to tell you why you didn’t place higher. You will get upset especially because you’re still trying find reasons why you didn’t do well rather than understanding what you could do to improve. I suggest you wait a few days and then reach out. Judges like to see IMPROVEMENTS once they give you feedback. Trust me on this…they pay very close attention to the changes you’ve made and they’ll be looking for those improvements especially those who’ve already seen you and given you feedback. I think they love it when they can look at a competitor and say “yes! That’s it!”.

Having FUN backstage at the 2009 Atlantic States

That’s my rambling. Stop the ugly attitudes and practice sportsmanship. Be a champion in your own way and feel honored that you, as a competitor, have the ability to do and be a part of something that most people are not. You are already special! Now get to work on the things you need to improve and celebrate the challenges you had to overcome to participate at a national level competition. Don’t forget to HAVE FUN at your next show!

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