When training to compete, naturally everyone wants to win, right? It is the dream of all competitors to end the show the last one athlete standing, holding the elusive Overall trophy. Yes, winning is GREAT and we should always strive to reach the top. However, focusing on winning alone can cause undue stress, take the fun out of the journey and oftentimes lead to disappointment.

Over the years I have observed countless athletes in their competitive journey. I have seen competitors have very long, fulfilling careers in our sport and others compete in one show and quit, never to return to the stage. What was the main factor that separated the two? Their reason for competing in the first place and the driving force that brought them to the stage.

If you base your daily training, dieting and overall preparation around winning and winning alone, it causes an obsession within that can drive you crazy! When you focus only on winning you don’t enjoy the process or give yourself accolades for the improvements you make along the way. An obsession with winning isolates you from others and quite frankly sets you up to fail. At the end of the day, there is only ONE Overall winner. You cannot control which competitors step on stage with you at your event. You cannot control the judge’s decision. If you base your success or failure on factors that are out of your control, you will miss out on all of the OTHER victories that surround competing!

As you prepare for the stage, focus on these factors for success:

1 Stick To Your Plan!
Sticking to your nutrition and training plan is a DAILY victory! Being diligent and committed each day is something to be proud of and proves to you just how STRONG you are as well as your ability to persevere! Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back each day that you follow through with your goal!


2 Stronger, Faster, Better
Rather than focusing on winning, focus on becoming a better YOU! As you become stronger and better conditioned, your body will follow. Gauging your daily success on obtainable progress performance will keep your eye on the big picture; you are getting BETTER each day!


3 Compete Against Yourself
When it comes down to it, when you compete in this sport you are TRULY only competing against yourself. You have no other control over how your fellow competitors look or perform on stage. All you can do is strive to be the BEST that you can be. If at each show you can improve from the last time you stepped on stage, you are victorious!

4 Learn From Your Defeats
Often times, the best time to learn what you need to do to improve is when you DON’T win! Take a hard, objective look at the competitors that placed above you in order to see what areas you need to improve in to do better the next time around.

Winning is great, and the sense of pride that comes from being named the best on stage is priceless. However, in order to have a long, enjoyable competitive journey, the drive to win cannot be the driving force behind your will to compete. Small victories along the way combined with improvements each time you hit the stage add up to one BIG victory that is a stronger, healthier and better YOU!



IFBB Fitness Professional Shannon Dey is the Founder of Bombshell Fitness and Team Bombshell. Over the past three years, Bombshell Athletes have earned 65+ IFBB Pro Cards, and Team Bombshell has produced two IFBB Bikini Olympia champions. In the 2012 Bikini Olympia, four of the Top five finishers were Bombshell Athletes.

Shannon holds a Masters Degree in Health Education and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Sports Psychology. For more information on Bombshell Fitness and Team Bombshell, visit their website at www.bombshellfitness.com or visit the Team Bombshell Facebook page.