Make strongman great, full stop.
Let me start straight away by saying that the sport of Strongman and woman is already a great sport. The camaraderie and the excitement of comp day is what drew me to it 3 or 4 years ago, and made me decide to leave a professional engineering job to start making equipment to support it.
But can the sport be ‘better’? Sure. SM is growing in this country; many new faces are arriving on the scene weekly, combining with veterans of the sport. But here is my take on it. There is no governing body for SM, there is no IOC, no AFL head quarters, no ICC. How this sport takes its next steps forward will be shaped entirely by how every Strongman and woman in this country behave, so small is our community.
We are ALL strongmen and women
I’m going to dive right in here. I’m not naming names or pointing fingers at anyone, I’m sure everyone has a story to tell, but this itself raises the point I am about to make. For a sport that embraces a strong community, mateship and camaraderie, I have been somewhat surprised at the regularity of squabbling, dick waving and bickering.
Although I still feel it is counter-productive, there will always be chest-beating and ‘who’s the best’ between SM and the other strength sports, power lifting, Crossfit, oly lifting, but to start skirmishes within our own sport? It goes nowhere when that happens. In my opinion, when you decide to get involved in SM, you are in. And the family should embrace a new member, and bring them up to speed.
Rookies be ready to learn from veterans, veterans be prepared to teach
For some, years feel like a long time, for others, they go past in a heartbeat.
6 months to a year in the sport does not make you a veteran Strongman, no matter how many competitions you have won. There is decades of history in both Australia and the world that you may be completely oblivious to, events people have competed in you have never heard of. This comment isn’t intended to anger you, it should inspire to read, learn, ask, and practise. Become the futures veteran.
If you are reading this and feel you are in the veteran category, maybe even think that ‘SM should be made great again’, you have a responsibility to share that knowledge with the greater community. If you think there are elements of SM that are now missing in the modern era, educate everyone who may be completely oblivious to its existence entirely. Just calling out what’s wrong with the sport isn’t enough; help people decide what’s right.
Strongman is more than yoke, farmers, log and dead lift. Patience is key, real strength takes years to build
This ties in with the above statement. Although critical parts of competition, excelling at these does not make a well rounded Strongman or woman. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of training, but a short tour through history will see that strength can be tested over a vast spectrum of challenges. We have written on it before, but a mystery event to a well rounded strength athlete should be looked forward to, not feared. Don’t be frustrated that you have many months of training ahead of you to gain these attributes, be excited that you have a journey ahead of you to be better than you were a year before.
We are in an exciting time in our sport, but let’s shape it in a way it can thrive, not stagnate. New needs old, and old needs new, but nobody needs a fight amongst ourselves. Challenge yourself to not only make yourself, but make the sport great. FULL STOP.