Sep 08

5 Reasons You Are Not Ready For a National Competition

David-headshot2Here’s another great blog written by my good friend, website developer/designer, make-up artist and beauty consultant, and pretty much all-around entrepreneur, Amanda Eva Cumberbatch. I like this blog because she takes a no-holds barred look at why some competitors SHOULDN’T do national-level shows before they’re ready. Obviously these are not the ONLY 5 reasons, as you may have your own to either add to or take away from hers. But like trying to determine ‘The Greatest’, rather than debate the issue, just accept hers, and add your own to the list. Feel free to share, as it may one day save someone (maybe even someone you know!) huge embarrassment. No one wants to be onstage and have people out in the audience (which Amanda was) whispering, “Why is he/she up there? Doesn’t he know he looks like crap? Why didn’t someone tell her she’s not ready for this level of competition yet?”, and other questions/comments/whisperings. Enjoy…

“As I sit here in Pittsburgh at one of the largest NPC national contests I’ve ever witnessed, the North American Championships, I couldn’t help but write this blog. From my observations alone, here’s a list of 5 reasons I think some competitors were not quite ready for the big stage just yet.Why? Well, [the main reason is]: some competitors were not ready to be here.

  1. Amanda Eva10You are broke. Registration fees, hotel, travel, food…the list goes on and on and on. If you don’t have a specific budget allotted to this level of competition, then it’s best to save and wait until you can afford this. Of course plenty have accomplished amazing things on a tight budget (or by using GoFundMe) but wouldn’t it be easier on you if you were financially ready for this type of investment?
  2. You haven’t placed in the top 3 or top 5 at a good sized show. This one point can be a little more complicated actually. If only 2 people show up in your class, and you win your class, does that mean you are ready for a national show? In my opinion, the best way to find out is to either do a bigger show or ask for feedback from a nationally accredited judge. She or he would have the eye to let you know if you are ready to step on a national stage or at least the potential to pull it together on time.
  3. You are not ready to be in the last callout and take it graciously. I cannot stress enough how important sportsmanship and being gracious is at this level of competition. Sure you were the best athlete to grace the stage at your local show. Hell, there were even articles written about you in your local newspaper. But how you fare out in a stacked class, sometimes with 20+ of the best physiques in the nation is another story. You might just not be the best that day. Take it with grace, and use it as experience for your next national showing.
  4. You still have temper tantrums – despite your age. FB posts bashing other competitors, the judging panel, the tanning crew, your makeup artist, your coach…looking mad as hell on stage, cursing and complaining because you didn’t get the placing you thought you deserved…all of those are temper tantrums that you, at your age, shouldn’t be having. See point #3 for some help.
  5. You are not ready to hear and accept feedback. This is by far the single most important thing you could ever do for yourself at any level. Accept the feedback from the judges and next time you show up on stage, show the improvements on those areas. Judges actually remember these things. Don’t be nasty or have an attitude when a judge tells you something you were not ready to hear. It’s called feedback for a reason and it’s the only way to learn and grow. It could be quite helpful in competitive bodybuilding and in all aspects of life.

Do you have any other reasons you would add to this list? If so, let me know!”

Amanda Eva11

Great blog, wouldn’t you agree? I’d just like to add my two cents in on a couple of her points.

1. A pet peeve of mine – GoFundMe. I hate it for the bodybuilding/figure/fitness/bikini/physique industry, pure and simple. What you are doing is begging for someone to pay YOUR way for YOU to do a show. To me it’s akin to standing on the freeway off-ramp or street corner asking for money. There are a few that probably truly need help, but it’s become the norm now! Before you get all heated, remember, this is MY opinion. In 34 years of competition I NEVER asked anyone for a dime to help me get to a show, ANY show! If I couldn’t afford to pay my own way, I simply didn’t go. If competition is important to you, you’ll find a way. Save your pennies, nickels, and dimes. If it’s not, then go do something else that requires less money. But ask (BEG) for money? In my opinion, pathetic. It doesn’t serve any purpose or usefulness except yours. It doesn’t help anyone except you. You’re better than that. If you can afford your gym membership, personal training and trainer, competition coach, posing coach, prep coach, gear, yada, yada, yada, then you can also pay your own way.

2. In all my years of training and experience, if you can’t CONVINCINGLY win the Overall at your biggest state or regional show, you have no business going to a national-level show. Too many times I’ve seen 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place competitors head to national shows, only to come home with their tails (and heads) between their legs. `They typically get the dreaded “tied for 16th” place, which means that you were so insignificant, the judges didn’t even place you below 15th. They just clumped all the ‘also-rans’ together, and what you get to ‘brag’ about is the great experience you had. Don’t be that person. Compete when you’re ready, not before.

3. DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS!! That’s like asking your mom if you’re beautiful. They’re ALWAYS going to tell you what you want to hear. You want that one true friend who’ll give it to you straight. I remember years ago my best friend, Kim Farrison, advised me against doing a show because I was ‘lazy’ in my prep. Didn’t work hard enough. Didn’t work smart enough. Kim said in no uncertain terms, “Dave, I wouldn’t do this show if I were you. You’re not ready.” I didn’t listen. I did the show. I GOT KILLED! By killed I mean I took 7th place. One of the few times I’ve placed out of the top 5 in a local show. Find those one or two individuals who’ll be brutally honest with you. You want that. You NEED that.

4. Final point and I’ll leave you guys alone. Qualifed DOESN’T mean qualified. I’ve been qualified to go to National-level competitions for over 25 years, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m NOT QUALIFIED physique wise. I would be one of the dreaded 16th place competitors. I have (had) a decent LOCAL/REGIONAL physique. I DID NOT have a National-level physique. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. Know the difference.

To read the Part II continuation of this blog, please check out ‘Sometimes You Just Have To Tap Outhere.

As always, if you have any comments, feel to do so below. And don’t forget to share. The embarrassment you save may be your friend’s. Peace…


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