Running successful events…Simple, right? Hold your horses cowboy/cowgirl. I have been to numerous events where the directors and staff have been preparing diligently for a great show. Unfortunately, preparation will only get you so far. In light of random occurrences, some shows end up being really slow, really boring, and/or deterring for future shows. Don’t misunderstand the context of the message here. Preparation is a key component to success in most every aspect of life. There is one more thing that is even more important…in the gym, in the kitchen, in the bedroom (we’re talking recovery here, remove head from gutter), at work, in class, and so on. It’s called follow-through. Some may refer to this as action. It’s not just saying you are going to do something; it’s actually doing what you said you were going to do. Why the lecture? At Austin Simply Fit, we have a credo. “We Will NOT Accept Mediocrity” Everything that we do, from strength training to running events, we are motivated to do it the best that we can. Our meets get better each time, with the most recent one wrapping up with the last deadlift at 3:25. Here is what it takes to have a very efficient event:
Planning is a top priority. The meet director has to have all forms completed, verified, and the roster of lifters organized upon weigh-ins. All personnel for the meet must have assigned tasks AND know how to efficiently perform each task: Spotters/loaders, table workers, the emcee, judges, facility attendants, hospitality attendants, etc. Set-up is the next feat. This consists of building the platform, spectator area and chairs, warm-up area, scorers table, projector, and making sure the judge’s lights work. The last part of planning is making sure awards are ordered ahead of time.
Direction is also a priority. That is the meet director’s primary duty. To make sure things are done by the people who are doing them, when they are supposed to do them. Also, making sure the event continues to move and doesn’t slow down. Someone has to be in charge, not as a power-trip, but as a necessity for organized success.
Execution is the next and most important priority… i.e. FOLLOW THROUGH. Clarify to all staff to be early and ready to go. Next in line is to make sure the rules meeting starts on time. If the rules meeting starts on time, it makes it easier to start lifting on time. Starting the meet, on time and after the national anthem, is the key to the success that we have experienced. Once the ball gets rolling it’s tough to slow it down. Most importantly, our spotters and loaders take pride in saving lives AND doing it more efficiently than anyone else. A lot meet directors rely on volunteers for these jobs. That works for some people. However, I see it every week on my newsfeed “spotters needed for such-and-such meet”. Sorry guys and gals, I don’t want to lift in a meet where there are spotters who “don’t even”, junior high/high school kids (been there, got the CAT scans to vouch for that), or just those who are less experienced and definitely not motivated because they are getting a comped entry fee in the future. We compensate our guys fairly, and that helps with motivation and enthusiasm, to go along with being very proficient.
There is a system in place for running these successful meets. The 3 most important keys to an efficient meet are: Planning, Direction, and Execution. How we do that is the special ingredient. It’s the WE part. WE can spout any cliche quote about teamwork in at this point, and at the end of the day those two little letters sum up the magic in the recipe. WE are growing individuals, and a community through powerlifting, one meet at a time.
WE Will NOT Accept Mediocrity!
About Mark Rogers: Entrepreneur, and expert fitness trainer, Mark Rogers is the Founder & Head Coach of Austin Simply Fit, Austin’s premier personal training studio. In addition to running his own business, Mark is a world-class powerlifter who has successfully competed in dozens of local, state, and world competitions since beginning his lifting career. Mark is a father of three and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Adrien.