Monday, July 23, 2012

Weightlifting - So you want to be the next Natasha Perdue or Gareth Evans?

As we look forward to our Welsh athletes competing at London 2012 this blog comes from weightlifting coach Ray Williams (pictured left). The 53-year-old former Royal Welch Guard Fusilier won gold at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and now proudly holds the title of Welsh Weightlifting Federation Head Coach.

Ray is a pillar of the Holyhead community and his Mill Bank club produced London 2012 Olympic weightlifting team member Gareth Evans. 

I first met Gareth back in 2003 when I left the army and took over as club coach. I could tell straight away that this young lad had bags of potential – he’s just so athletic.
He is such a nice lad as well, so full of life and the ‘life and soul’ of the place wherever he goes.
The psychology is so important now and seeing the competition in the mind to have that mental build-up. I’ve told Gareth, imagine yourself making that lift successfully 1000 times, keep thinking it, imagine how you are going to do it.
Of course, London 2012 is such a big event that another important aspect is to control the excitement. It’s important to relax and be ready to explode on that stage when the right time comes.
As well as wanting to do well in London, I think Gareth can really put down a marker of his ability to do well in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
I’m going to watch Gareth and I think I’ll be the most excited person at the ExCel Centre after his mum and dad.
I think those of us in the sport love the sport of weightlifting because it’s all about wanting to be stronger than the next person. I think it’s the sport that’s most based around power – a bit like the pole vault is for athletics.
Weightlifting is always one of the most visual and popular parts of any major Games and London will be no different. If people see the sport and want to give it a go there are more opportunities now than ever. As well as gyms like ours in North Wales there is the massive growth of Crossfit, which is doing wonders for our sport.

I applaud Crossfit for the work they are doing because I think people in the Northern Hemisphere and becoming more aware of what people in the Southern Hemisphere have been doing for a while and bringing those fitness concepts here.