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By: Daniel Inderwisch •  4 years ago •  

My personal journey; being involved in sport most of my life; has lead me to achieve many great things. I have learned life changing lessons along the way and over the course of time, these lessons have carved me into the very person I am today.

By the age of 10 I was at a nationally recognised level in competitive swimming and right by my side was my late father, the man I looked up to and learned from. He was there for my brother and I, no matter what sport we were into, or what role he had to play to be there with us. To him it didn’t matter if he was just timekeeping pool side in the sweltering North Queensland sun or being the local soccer coach for 6 consecutive years. It didn’t hurt that we won the local season championship trophy for 5 of those years.

My father believed in me and didn’t let anything become an excuse. As a ‘smaller statured’ person it could have been easy to settle for less, but my father always had a way and a reason to turn what could have been a weakness into a strength rather than an excuse. He encouraged me to turn it, quite literally, into a strength.

In 2014, I placed 5 th in the GPC National Titles with successful attempts of a 225kg Squat, 150kg Bench Press and 212.5kg Deadlift. To date this has been my highest achievement in the sport of Powerlifting and my most memorable, leaving me with a total of 587.5kg at 81.2kg in body weight. I currently hold the Sub-masters under 75kg National Bench Press record in the Global Powerlifting Committee of 142.5kg. These achievements that have taught me many lessons in life. Lessons that I love passing onto whomever I have the privilege of coaching. It is not the titles that mean the most to me, although I appreciate and enjoy them. What means the most to me are the obstacles that I overcame to achieve them.

We see people on competition day get on the platform and make their lifts, but rarely do we stop to consider the journey that had to go on in order to get to that point. One of the greatest makers or breakers of any person in any competitive arena is their mindset. The right or wrong mindset will dictate the results they achieve. I am a firm believer that the achieved results come from a 60/40 equation. 60% of your lift will be made by the mindset you have and the other 40% will be the body’s trained ability to complete the lift. You can be an incredibly strong person and have no physical reason for missing a lift, but if your mindset is weak then chances are, you will miss the lift.

Powerlifting, for me, is not just about training the physical body, but also the mind. We have all heard the saying “you are only as strong as your weakest link”. Through my years of competing, I have witnessed nerves completely overtake people and ultimately affect their lifting ability on the day. They then walk away discouraged, feeling like they didn’t achieve, when in fact their physical ability was never in question. It was simply the inability to take control of their minds.

The ability to calm your mind and thoughts while not letting your surroundings get you all worked up takes an incredible amount of self-control and focus. That’s why I take on the job to train my clients physically and mentally. Preparing them for the battles in the mind that they will come up against. Running them through scenarios that may happen and supporting them all the way.

As a coach, I always think long term and try to see the bigger picture. I like to get to know my clients and understand their strengths and weaknesses. With that knowledge I can tailor their programs to give them their desired physical results and challenge them in ways that will cause mental growth as well. I like to stimulate self-belief in my clients and really stir them up on the inside, challenging them to “believe” that they can achieve greater than great results.

I currently have a client who I have worked with for the past 5 months. She had only been lifting weights for 6 months when she first came to me asking for help. At that stage, her confidence was extremely low. Her lifting had come to a halt and she was frustrated and discouraged. She was ready to go find another gym thinking that would solve her problems.

I began getting to know her, finding out her goals and offered to do her a program. A couple of months into the program, she was still mentally struggling with lifting, watching women around her thrive and achieve new PBs (personal bests) regularly. I could see she was not in a good state. I then offered Personal Training sessions in which I helped her make changes and then stood watching, cheering her on, helping her strengthen a solid technique in all lifts, remaining strong from start to finish, tightening everything, locking her core, all things that are incredibly important for any lifter to do.

Three months after we began the Personal Training sessions, something clicked inside of her and her whole approach to the bar, the weights, the goal changed. It was like she went to sleep one night and woke up completely different. Her mental strength, her focus, had grown. She was no longer looking at the bar with a defeated mindset but rather a dominant mindset.

This is not just an isolated incident. Strength sports are becoming increasingly popular with females and I believe this is due to the confidence and self-esteem that carries over from training in the gym into every day life situations.

My number one goal in coaching others is to see them actually believe in themselves and their potential. In order to achieve this, I first have to earn their trust. In preparation for this article I was speaking to a client of mine and her words blew me away, so I asked if I could use them. Here is what she said. “My greatest achievement in Powerlifting to date has been learning to trust. Trust means reliance on the integrity, strength and ability of a person. I have learned to completely trust you and in doing so it has given me the ability to focus on all you set me to do, knowing that if you say I can do it, then I can do it”. Powerful words from a woman that had little confidence in herself at the beginning.

Coaching is a personal commitment that cannot be taken lightly. We live in a busy world and everyone is time poor, so I make it my utmost priority to design programs that suit each individual’s personal circumstances. I ensure that each time they enter the gym, they have enough time to complete the session for the day and make every lift technically sound. To have that focused time is paramount to the results they achieve.

Powerlifting is so often looked upon as an individual sport, but it is far from that. Being a great Powerlifter requires a great support network behind you. Every lifter who steps onto the platform has had people watching, supporting, encouraging and believing in them. Whether they get the lift or miss the lift, their people support them, with either cheers of congratulations or hugs of compassion. They have an understanding of the hard work, dedication and obstacles they overcame to be there in the first place.

I have learned a lot through my competitive lifting career; a big lesson is that that timing is everything. There are so many small components that need to come together in order to make a great lifter and to produce the “perfect” lift. I have never met one person that was identical to another and I have never coached one person the same way I have coached another. I am challenged with each new client I obtain that I do my absolute best no matter if they are 15 or 75 years of age. They deserve and get my utmost respect, committed attention, focus on their situation and the goals they wish to achieve. I have learned to give and enjoy the process of watching people thrive.

When I resigned from my fulltime job of 15 years in order to fulfil my dream of coaching, it was a risk, but one that had to be made. I have never felt this peaceful about making such a big decision. Not just for myself but also for my family. I have found the purpose is back in my life and it is truly liberating to do what I want and to call it my job._________________________________________________________________________
We are all a product of our environment. How is your environment changing you?
_________________________________________________________________________

Daniel is a member of Powerlifting Australia (PA) and a full time coach at Brisbane North Barbell. He is particularly proud of the environment they have created where anybody of any age or lifting experience can come in and feel comfortable. Our community is not restricted but rather empowered.

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