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Don’t bring shame to the family!

When I did my first strongman competition, Beer Muscles 2021, Katie sent us an email with instructions, and one of the final instructions was “Don’t bring shame to the family.” (I actually still have the email, because I barely delete emails, but that’s probably a whole different conversation.) I want to talk a little bit about what “not bringing shame to the family” means in competition!

Be Positive and Supportive

One of the amazing things about strongman competition is the spirit of camaraderie you find. Folks competing against each other will cheer each other on during the actual events. Don’t be a stick in the mud. Cheer for folks, make some new friends, and enjoy yourself.

Have a Short Memory

Whether an event goes well or goes badly, put it behind you and move on to the next event. Re-running a subpar performance won’t do anything to help you shine on your next event. We also suggest not to watch back your videos on event day unless you need to because of a question about judging. Whether it went well or went badly, watching it back on the day of the competition will likely not positively impact the rest of your day. Save the replays for later.

Be Polite to Your Judges and Volunteers

Most of the folks running the event are there volunteering their time! Thank them for being there, be kind, and remember, they’re just humans doing their best. Sometimes bars get misloaded, reps get miscounted, etc. Being obnoxious about it doesn’t help anyone! Try to be patient with them. Make sure you’re paying attention to where you’re supposed to be, and listening for your turn. Don’t make people have to hunt you down.

For the Love of All That’s Good in the World, DO NOT Scream at Judges

This should be obvious, but I’ve seen it happen more times than I care to recall. If there is a discrepancy between what you think happened and what the judges say, it is fine to ask clarifying questions. If you don’t think you can do so in a calm and polite manner, please send a friend or coach who can be calm and polite to ask. If you don’t agree with the results recorded, remember not to sign off on the results until it has been resolved. Once you sign off, those are the results that will be etched into the annals of history.

Do Your Best

All you can really expect of yourself is that you do your best. No matter how you place or how the event goes overall, it feels good to finish up knowing you did the best you could do. You’ve trained your butt off to get to this day. Don’t show up and give a halfhearted effort.

Respect the Facility and the Equipment

Yes, strongman can be a wild sport, and stuff happens, but please don’t intentionally destroy or excessively brutalize equipment. Often, the equipment needs to make it through the entire day and if it gets broken because people were unnecessarily dropping an implement, that messes up the day for everyone. Similarly, if rules allow tacky, please be respectful about where you clean up & don’t leave a giant mess behind yourself. Don’t go punching things in excitement or disappointment, because that kind of behavior gets events not welcomed back to venues. Just overall remember that we are all guests wherever we are, and if we act like knuckleheads, it’s bad for the entire sport as it makes it harder to find places willing to host events.

Hopefully, most of this stuff sounds pretty obvious, but it never fails that there is some person making an absolute buffoon of themself at a strongman show. Don’t be that person. Don’t bring shame to the family!

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