Let’s say there are 5 different controllable components of weightlifting:
Programming, attitude, technique, mobility, and recovery (nutrition & sleep). Whats the most important?
If you are an athlete and are average at all of these components, then you are or will be an average lifter (let’s say “intermediate”). That’s already good. You are devoted enough to be better than most of the people doing this sport.
By improving any of the above components, a lifter’s ability to lift more (volume or max) will go up. By worsening any of these components – or devoting less time and effort to them, either the lifter will stop growing, or get injured, or become weaker over time.
These 5 components do not have equal value. By far the most important is attitude. People have to push themselves. They must push their bodies where others won’t. They have to work hard in the gym, and just as hard outside of the gym to learn and recover.
There are people on the world stage who don’t follow programs. They might even have technique that others would cringe at, or that looks obviously inefficient. There’s only a small percentage of weightlifters on the world stage who don’t drink or smoke. But you will not find a single lifter of that caliber without a ton of MENTAL DRIVE.
You can give a great program to a naturally-talented athlete, with good mobility, nutrition and technique. If they don’t have the drive to be the best in the gym, in the state or in the country – they won’t be. Getting the most efficient technique with a program written by the best minds in weightlifting will get you from the JV team to varsity. But it won’t make you a state champion. Having the right mental drive, decent technique, an average program, and enough to eat – just might.
If you want to be your best, do anything to get the right attitude. Get the environment around you to make you want to work hard every day. Surround yourself with competitors, and friends with big goals. Set goals. Set short term goals, and long term goals. Celebrate every goal you complete. Treat yourself every time you make a small PR, slam bars, or feast on whatever you want. You have control over your attitude, so do what works for you.