He takes his time, pondering the barbell on the rack. Stalking around with an attempt at a self-assured swagger. He pays meticulous attention to putting his belt. He checks the tension carefully as he puts on his wrist wraps. He chalks his hands up thoroughly so as to make sure that even the spaces between his fingers are dry and ready for the big lift. He sets up the camera to catch the big moment. Five minutes of preparation come down to this one, singular moment in the cage.
Ultimately, I think it's important to cultivate the ability to do a lot of work before doing a lot of maximum-effort work.
Of course, this all has to be combined with good food and rest. Base building is pointless if those two parts aren't in order. After all, at best, you may only have 45 minutes per day to devote to training. While you can get a lot done in that time frame, it will be unraveled if the other 23 hours and 15 minutes of the day don't do something to support that other 3/4-hour.
Hopefully this skull of mush gets his shit together and gets his training sorted out sooner or later. Since this initial lift, I've offered whatever advice/words that I've seen relevant to him at key training times. After all, without a solution to criticism, then it's all mean-girl-like complaining and gossip with gym clothing and body odor. With a little luck, these millenials will figure what a good base is all out.