A toast for the "Internet Warrior"
It's amazing how the internet works and how much it is involved in people's lives daily. I mean really think about it for a minute. Especially in relation to the strongman community. Just in the last 5 years even. A simple contest entry form for example. The day and age of filling out an entry form with pen and paper, putting it in an envelope and actually sending it through mail are almost behind us. Everything is transitioning to being done "on the line." 10 years ago in amateur strongman you didn't know the roster of a contest coming up. You couldn't Facebook stalk someone and see the history of their lifts, competitions and what they had for breakfast that morning. IF someone was good, you heard stories about them through the grapevine or had experiences yourself with a competitor at a contest that you could share. That's it! And get this....the competition might actually have different events or weights that what was on the entry form! Crazy right! You didn't know every stupid little detail. You just had to show up and get this....be strong!
Same thing applied to contest promoters. And even more wild experience is people used to use phones to call each other and have actual conversations, talking, not texting, on the phone. Not a cell phone either. A phone that was wired to the house. I know some of this stuff is mind blowing for some of you youngsters reading who are just starting out in strongman, but it's how things used to work just 10 years ago, or even less really. If you were a good promoter for contests, word traveled fast among strongman groups. In my area (Pennsylvania) it was Linden Yard Strongman in New Jersey. They put on great, heavy shows, and they put on a lot of them. This grew their rep and they drew competitors from all over. Now a days, you have promoters put on one or two shows and then with the backing of their buddies on line, tell the whole internet, how they are the best promoters because they got "x" amount of competitors on only their first couple shows. So because of this and because of the blessing of the online warrior friend club, they view themselves as the top now. They will go to no end to defend the their online presence the moment someone makes a comment. It' s funny though, these people, once you meet them in person, have no personality what so ever. They are socially awkward. Once face to face and talking with them, they will talk to you like you are your best friend. Now they aren't so aggressive when talking, like they talk to people online. Strange how their personality changes huh? They don't have exclamations next to everything they say in person like they do online. Behind the keyboard and the safety of their home computer they have the support of the whole internet if they built a good enough following online. Which i guess is an accomplishment in this day and age in the eyes of some people. But if you can promote yourself online and are not
I'm sure you've seen the same thing with athletes as in promoters. Some athletes record every single lift the do during training. They are very active online and engaging conversation with their followers. They build a following and everyone praises them with hashtag "beast mode" and such. They give out advice, usually online coaching, and again bash anybody with a view other than theirs and their buddies. Then they show up for their next comp that they've been training for and finish like 11th out of 15, but yet they PR'd their deadlift that day, bombed everything else, so #strongestoftheday and #nextyearismine. My point is this. I'm not writing here to complain, but maybe bring some light to the subject at hand. If you can't interact with people in person, that is a problem no matter how far technology advances. Just because you watched a few contests, learned a few tricks and got a bunch of your buddies to sign up for your first couple of contests, doesn't make you as good as you think you are as a promoter, it just makes you look like an arrogant fool in the more experienced strongman's eyes. They see past countless posts defending yourself when someone questions you and you know why that is? Because when confronted in person you crumble under pressure. My advice today is to work on your people skills. Not only will it help you in strongman, but in life in general. An everyday life example would be, let's say you have an outstanding resume for a job that you want to apply for, but have no people skills and you're terrible when it comes to interviews. That online knowledge you have will get your foot in the door, but that employer, who is behind that door, the guy that's been around for 20 plus years, is far more experienced that you and doesn't care how many followers you have, he wants to hire someone who could turn into a leader like he is running the company. When he realizes after 5 minutes of being dragged through an awkward boring conversation with you, that you have the personality of a rock, he will crush your foot in that door. That's Coach Bix's tip of the day. Now that you've finished reading this, get outside and spark up a conversation with a random person in the street. Can you hold their attention for more than 5 minutes?