Red Lights? White Lights? Does Anyone Really Care?

This topic has been covered on these and other pages many times in the past. Bottom line: the number of failed lifts at major USAW national events (and by USA lifters at many international events) is impressively negative.

TJ Greenstone, silver medalist (+105kg) at this year's USAW National Championships, developed the following table for consideration. By the way, Greenstone succeeded with five of his six attempts.

2016 USAW National Weightlifting Championships

According to the USAW tabular results (not particularly consistent in how lifts are recorded) at least six lifters missed all six attempts. Why spend the money to enter and travel to the meet and then fail all attempts? If such a lifter has a coach, what is the coach thinking?

I understand, but do not generally agree with, the mentality of "start heavy, at least I have three chances." That's kind of like setting the bar in the pole vault at or near your personal best, then skipping the lower heights, thinking you'll fly over the bar. Come on.

To repeat a previous message, the one-kilo rule, in place now for nearly 10 years, has no doubt contributed to this high failure rate, at least at US meets. Too many lifters and coaches are working too close to their best-ever lifts rather than sneaking up on personal records.

I've previously shown international results that suggest those beating us often make more lifts.

One other statistic at this year's Nationals stands out. As shown in Table 1, the overall success rate for both lifts, both genders, was 48%. And once again we see an "elite" national event in which 17% of the women fail total and an additional 18% fail to reach the qualifying total. On the men’s side the numbers are comparable, with 22% failing to reach a total and 23% not reaching the minimum qualifying total.

This much failure is not a positive image for the general public or for potential and existing sponsors. Success sells much more effectively than failure.