You spend all training cycle with numbers in your head for the next meet. New milestones you'd like to reach, new totals to be shattered. It is frustrating when things don't quite go your way. A perfect 9/9 meet rarely happens. You will be faced with some defeats and tough decisions throughout the course of a meet. Expect the best, plan for the worse.
A meet rarely runs its entirety without some set backs, and you never quite know where you will first face adversity. Sometimes it rears its ugly head as a missed squat opener, first lift of the meet. You might of not gotten passed on depth, now what do you do? Take it again or play your chances with something heavier? Give yourself a chance at a big total or make sure you secure a spot in the meet? Decisions like these are part of the sport. There is nothing you can do when calls don't go your way, you either mentally start to fall apart or you face the adversity and come out stronger
It takes strong mental willpower and composure to do well in a powerlifting meet. You are either the lifter who breaks under pressure, or you are the lifter that finds a way to overcome. What if you had grand plans for a huge total but then end up missing a bench command on an easy weight you've done countless times? It happens to everyone and will happen to you at some point or another. How you bounce back defines what type of lifter you are
At the highest levels of the sport your best meet is not always the next one in front of you. When you first start out and can be considered somewhat of an "intermediate" lifter, usually it's safe to bet that your best total will come at your next meet. At the advanced level you might be waiting 2-3 years to break a previous meet total PR. It starts to become very difficult very fast. How do you respond when you go years without progress? You either shut it down and do something else or you stick to the grind, commit to being something great, and continue to push the envelope. What type of lifter will you become when the going gets tough?
I was competing in a meet where my goal was to finally bench 500 lbs. That was the number I wanted and I wasn't leaving without it. Opener went up smooth, 450 lbs no problem. Second attempt, not so much. Missed a press command with 475 lbs. I had a big decision to make, retake my 475 for a small 10 lb PR or take a chance on the 500 I've been training for, which I've never taken past a 2 board in training. So I asked myself, would I be more upset leaving only accomplishing a 450 lb bench, or leaving with a 10 lb PR but knowing I never even got a shot at 500? The answer became easy, take the 500. I did so and I've never felt it move so quickly in my life. That was my biggest battle with adversity. Either let the pressure bring you down or rise up and defeat it
So how will you be defined? Will you take your ball and walk away when the totals don't come easy anymore? Will you rise up when needed the most? Will you collapse under the mounting pressure of a powerlifting meet or overcome it both mentally and physically? Not every meet is going to be sunshine and rainbows, there will be some hard days. Remember, expect the best, plan for the worse