This year’s physique season is coming to a close, and after another great year – and attending the 2016 Mr. Olympia – I’ve had the chance to reflect on the things that I’ve learned in the past 12 months. Yes, even with years of helping athletes in their competition journeys, I’m still learning every day! This year was no exception, and I’m excited to share with you some of the things that I’m taking with me into the next year.

1.There are huge opportunities available for athletes if you put your mind to it and work hard.

While at Mr. Olympia, I had the chance to see local athletes like Jennifer Ronzitti and Jeremy Potvin excel in their competitions. Their hard work and dedication was a huge inspiration, and really drove home the fact that athletes from anywhere can succeed based on their own talent and grit.

2.I realized that we have something special here that people want to be a part of.

One of the most amazing things to me at Mr. Olympia this year was that people knew who we were because of the Cuties. The positive comments I recevied about our athletes was over the top.That’s always an awesome feeling.

3.Being on the biggest stage of our sport is totally attainable.

Sometimes when you’re still working towards your pro card, it can feel like you’ll have to settle for smaller stages forever. But what I saw at Mr. Olympia – and throughout the rest of the year – was that this sport is ripe for athletes who are willing to work hard to get to the biggest stage possible.

4.We are reflecting an inner light that people in this sport are in desperate need of.

If you look around at some of the interviews in the aftermath of Mr. Olympia or check out some of our interviews here with our Cuties, you’ll notice a pattern: everyone got into this because they needed something in their lives. Confidence, excitement, empowerment – whatever it was, they went after it, and now that light is a great example for young athletes.

5.The days of the “good old boys club” are long gone.

Women are the driving force in this sport right now. You do have to be strong of character and mind to deal with it, but if you go in with the right people behind you, and a good head on your shoulders, there’s no question that you are going to make waves.

6.That being said … this sport can be a bunny hole if you’re not careful.

No sport can be perfect (though I think ours is as close as it gets!) But that being said…

7.Having the right people behind you is more important than ever.

If you want to avoid falling into the bunny hole, or you just want to be sure that you will wow the judges from day one, having the right people with you is imperative. When you find good teammates and mentors, hold on tight. And if you haven’t found the right people yet, I always love to help!

Go to go to our contact form at the end of the post, and I’ll point you in the right direction (even if that direction doesn’t end up being me!)

8.You have to bring your best Every. Single. Time.

Competition is fierce. If you take short cuts or skimp on quality, you can bet that someone else is going to take your place. You have to have a passionate coach that loves what they do. You have to have someone with you to keep your head on straight during prep. If you don’t do your best at every competition, you’ll find yourself edged out.

But that’s a good thing! The more competition there is, the higher the standards are driven. With higher quality and more passion becoming a requirement of winning, this sport is being taken to a whole new level.

9.Snake oil salesmen are still a problem.

When it comes to supplements, you can work a booth to get them for free. But you can also hold out and own a booth one day. More importantly, however, booths are still filled with snake oil salesmen, ready to take your money and run. You have to keep your eyes and ears open and do your research. The sport may be headed for a new level, but that doesn’t mean it’s all glitter and fairy dust. Just like competition – keep your head on straight, and you’ll do fine.

10.There is room for everyone.

Finally, one thing that became clearer to me this year than ever before is just how many opportunities there are for everyone. While competition is fierce, there’s no cause for being selfish. You can lift each other up, and count on them to lift you as well. This sport has plenty of room for everyone, and that’s got me more excited than ever for 2017!

Looking Forward to Next Year

What about you? Is the next year going to be YOUR year? Are you ready to finally go after that pro card? Or maybe you’re ready to aim for the biggest stage in the sport for 2017. Whatever your exciting plans for 2017 may be, I’m here to help.

Questions? Comments? Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks!

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