LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Dave Tate on the Risks and Rewards of Powerlifting

TAGS: Table Talk Podcast, risks, powerlifting

COACH columnist

Every decision you make has both risks and rewards to its possible outcome. In powerlifting, the scariest risks are debilitating injury or death. For some, they may even risk losing their jobs, families, and homes with what they are willing to do for the sport of powerlifting. Universally, there are risks and rewards to every decision, and if asked, everyone would agree with that statement. Yet for some reason, while many are aware of these risks, many behave in a manner as if those risks didn’t exist. It’s shockingly common for people to look only at the possible rewards of any action they make, and then act surprised when things turn out poorly for them. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that things will turn out differently for you than the worst-case scenarios that you often see. There seems to be an internal belief that either you will do things smarter or better than everyone before you, and it probably won’t happen to you. There’s a glimmer of truth, it is highly possible you can minimize an actual risk, or maximize your odds of getting the rewards. But minimize has never meant to eliminate.

Dave Tate knows this better than anyone else. You’d be hard-pressed to find any reason to say that he hasn’t taken a risk or two to pursue the next PR on the platform. A torn pec, busted shoulders, and two hip replacements can be accurately described by Dave as, “drawing the short stick.” Unfortunately for some,  these kinds of injuries are the price you have to be willing to pay when you’re aiming to draw the big stick out of the pile.

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Dave aims to give you a wake-up call. Whenever you make a decision, be fully conscious of the worst-case scenario, because you are not immune.

You’ll have to ask, “What is the worst thing that could happen? Am I okay with the very worst possible outcome from my decisions? Am I okay with being the one percent?"

If you aren’t okay with that 1 in 100 chance, then that chance isn’t a risk you should be willing to take. For some, this sticks with them for life. They were never prepared for the risk they undertook. However, always being prepared for this risk has left Dave in the position he is in. He was able to leave the sport with zero regrets, rather than leaving himself wondering, “Why did this happen to me?”

Text By Mason Nowak
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