Off Canvas




Managing External Factors On Meet Day


This past weekend at the USAPl Cal state games, coach Keith Valeros, had the privilege of handling Team 1RM OG Davin Fonseka. Leading into the meet Davin had experienced a solid prep, building on several months of volume and hypertrophy work & refining technique acquisition and performance. 


But, like most lifters Davin was faced with an array of external factors that stressed & limited him, traveling across the country for work, working long shifts and training at 24hour fitness, with varying quality of bars and plates. But, he is not one to let any of that phase him.


Going into this prep, we decided we were going to push harder than before and try to maximize everything, throughout the volume phase we steadily increased volume and frequency, going into prep we pushed harder & longer, gunning for the total he is capable of… however, at the last minute Davin, was faced with another challenge… work. Not only did he have to work 10 hours before the meet, with just 3 hours of rest time before competition. He had to leave the meet before 6PM to get back to work. Despite all that Davin put up a great showing and demonstrated that he is ready for more work & more success.


Keith’s Meet Breakdown:


 Davin Fonseka- Meet Synopsis 

Coming into/During the Meet: 

  • • Anxious about external factors- leaving early, flight starting late, when we have to go up. 
  • • Time management- Need to time stretches and warmups for each lift o Rushed warm up due to lack of attention/extensive warmup routine 
  • • Did well adapting to adjusting warmup times and warm up attempts 
  • • Did not have any negative feelings after failing third attempt 
  • • “Learned a lot for both squat and bench. Learned new cues” 



  • • Attempts: o 1st attempt: 190kg/418.91lbs-Good Lift ▪ Moved a bit slower than usual for an opener. This was due to time restraints on warmups. 
  • ▪ Ass shot back. Cue: wedge hips through “dick to the bar.” Bring the bar back. 
  • ▪ Back was slightly loose: bend-the-bar cue and try to touch elbows 
  • o 2nd attempt: 200kg/440.96lbs- Good Lift ▪ Moved slower however looked way better and faster than 1st attempt. 
  • ▪ Wedge was awesome right at sticking point. 


  • o 3rd attempt: 205kg/451.98lbs- No lift ▪ Wedged perfectly coming out of the whole however not lumbar/thoracic extension to back it up. Bar rolled forward, to compensate Davin fell back. 
  • ▪ Listened to cues, just wasn’t there that day. 



  • • Executed warmups and dynamic stretching perfectly. Was told that had a problem with bar pressing away from him, taught “bring it to your face” and “bend the bar” cues. o Warmup sets were perfect. Had to emphasize leg drive and how to perform efficiently- kick yourself back into the bench. Toes should feel like they’re coming out of the shoes. 
  • • Attempts: o 1st attempt: 102.5kg/225.99lbs- Good lift ▪ Moved really nicely. No form breaks, however, a bit slow. 
  • o 2nd attempt: 107.5kg/237.02lbs- Good lift ▪ Grind of his life omg. Really great form throughout and no technical flaws from my angle. Emphasized the “to the face” cue. 
  • o 3rd attempt: omitted 

You can see in this overview, that throughout the meet he was faced with opportunities where he simply could have given up accepting that he wasn’t going to finish the meet. But, instead he rose to the occasion and pushed on to make the best of the day despite everything.

As athletes it is very easy to excuse poor performance or challenging situations to external factors or our competitors. Blaming the situation as the cause of the outcome. I think Davin presents an excellent example of how to overcome that mindset. Going into a meet that had to run perfectly for him to finish, he didn’t falter but simply adjusted his expectations to accommodate those factors.


We can all learn a lesson from his experience, regardless of the situation you are faced with, bringing your best is always the best solution. We can give up when faced with challenge, or we can rise to it. Meet day is always going to be stressful, any number of events or issues can occur that can potentially derail your entire performance. But, rather than being instantly reactive, try taking a step back and just soaking it all in. Accept the situation and adapt to it, missed your opener… nail the next one and put it behind you. Perfect days are rare, but, good days can be common. 


3 Tips For managing External Factors



  • Manage Expectations, Local, National and International meets all have different challenges, prepare for them. Understand how you are going to deal with and overcome them. Adjust your expectations as needed.
  • Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst, Plan out your performance, maybe not to the kilo… but, have a good idea of what you want to achieve and what you need to get there. I always provide my lifters with 2-3 options for each attempt so regardless of the previous attempt or situation they can make an educated decision that will ensure their optimal performance.
  • Practice & Prepare, Do it for the meet, practice under meet conditions and prepare yourself for every eventuality, If you know the meet is going to be fast, train with limited rest. If its going to be hot, train in the heat….



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