Sportsmanship and Social Media | IUMEDIAGROUP.COM

by Billy Weisenstein

“I’m going to the show next weekend, it’s over, I’m gonna destroy everyone.” When you hear this, there are a couple things we can assume. First, it’s very confident, positive thinking, which is fine. Second, we can look at this and think, well, you don’t even know who’s going to be at this show. That’s arrogant and cocky, don’t you think? What if an Arnold look-a-like walks in, are you still gonna destroy everyone? I often just keep my mouth shut, focus on myself, and how I’m going to try to be better at every show I do.

Now, it’s important to be confident, know your worth, but it’s even more important that you always remember ANYONE can show up on competition day. You always want to give it your all during a competition prep, give it your all the day of the show, but be aware that someone may show up possibly that day that is better than you. I’ve been competing since 2011 and each year I get the opportunity to train with different competitors, all training and striving to make themselves better for the next show. One thing that I’ve noticed recently though is the attitude of a majority of people, or competitors, so to speak. We all work, train hard, have strict diets, fight to try to get as much as sleep as possible and maintain a positive attitude.

However, when show day comes and certain competitors don’t agree with the outcome they were striving for, their attitude changes. Though they have been supporting and rooting for someone else who may be in the same show as them that place better or win the show, they coincidentally forget to congratulate the person they been supporting that won. Before even beginning to compete back when I first started lifting weights, I realized not everyone is going to give a shit. Everyone began to notice changes, some made fun, some gave support and respect. That’s just the way it is and nothing has changed. I was never genetically a bigger guy, and I have seen how people that lifted weights or competed were already looked at by people who have no desire to train.

The people who compete have these huge egos, they think their shit don’t stink, that they’re going to win every show they sign up for. It’s their way or the high way because they “compete”, whether it’s been one time or ten times. The fact is, getting back to what I said earlier, you never know who is going to show up on competition day. The more you humble yourself, the more people are going to continue to support and root for you.I finally placed first in two divisions a couple of years ago and since then I’ve placed in the top 2 spots in my classes a year later. I’ve continued to make changes and major improvements. “Awesome job man! Let’s train sometime!”, “Dude, you’re a beast!”, “Congratulations, man!” I’ve seen this from people who support me that don’t even have a desire to workout. Whether on social media or in person, I’ve been congratulated by almost everyone even if I haven’t kept in touch with some of them.

That was when I was placing 4th, 2nd, and also when I placed 1st in 2016. A year later, I’ve continued to make huge improvements, most everyone has congratulated me, however, some for whatever reason have forgotten to do so like I’ve been shoved under a rug. Which is weird because every time I’m congratulated I always reply with, “I appreciate your words and ongoing support.” Those people who haven’t competed in a few years or have and haven’t placed high enough don’t even show respect to myself or any of the winners. Ironically, they aren’t too motivated to meet for that training session anymore either. They’d rather insinuate how they’re better and how someone or everyone isn’t “legit bodybuilders”. Now, mind you, people become busy, have things to do, but I wonder how and why their attitude changes so quickly, the answer is defeat. Once someone has been defeated, they either shake it off, congratulate their competition, showing good sportsmanship, or leave to go throw a fit. They take their frustrations to social media and post in a negative way how certain competitors are “fake” or all of their pictures are “filtered”.

Every time I’ve been defeated in bodybuilding or any other sport I’ve always shown respect and even have asked the guys who are winning what they’re doing. Some will share their experiences, some won’t. That’s not going to stop me from asking though, obviously, they’re winning and I’m not. So, I’m curious about asking instead of putting a sour look on my face like I’m in kindergarten and Little Jimmy beat me in tic-tac-toe. Being defeated does not mean that I quit, it does not mean that I’ll stop showing up, it means that I’m going to keep going to work, showing up better and better each time. When you’re competing in bodybuilding, a sport that is subjective and has judges, it’s important that you realize there are multiple judges. So, trying to point fingers after every show I’ve done is something I wouldn’t even think about doing. With social media being as popular as it is now, you can now ask the judges what their thoughts are on your progress if you didn’t get a chance in person.

It is VERY important that you also maintain a good sportsmanship reputation in a sport that is subjective because if you’re going on social media talking about how this judge said this, this judge doesn’t know shit, etc, be aware that you’ve now made it harder on yourself and you had better bring your best package to date especially after talking bad about judging and the sport because now you’re on their radar and not in a good way. Like it or not, with social media being what it is today and how you can get yourself, company, or business out to the public I’ve found it better than if I don’t have something to say that’s positive or going to lift people up, then I won’t say anything at all. I honestly don’t know how some people gain as many followers as they do talking negatively about their competition or competitors all of the time and if they’re gaining, they’re probably purchased followers, in my opinion.

There were times when I used to talk negatively about life and people making fun of competitors and I can confidently tell you that since I’ve begun branding myself and continuing to progress in bodybuilding I’ve gained my support and respect from people that I thought I’d never get support and respect from. I’ll leave you with two quotes that I have lived by since my bodybuilding journey has really took off…“We become what we think about most of the time and that’s the strangest secret.”Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.”