I am new to the sport of weightlifting. What? You only have two month exposure to weightlifting and now you want to be a coach, set up a weightlifting facility and program for athletes? NOOOOO!!! This does happen but this is not me. I have been weightlifting since I was 14 years old. I was lucky enough to be introduced to weightlifting my freshman year in high school while playing football. We had a strength and conditioning coach who taught us the lifts and emphasized technique on everything we did.
Over my past decade as a coach I have taught weightlifting as a sports performance coach, CrossFit coach and as an Kinesiology instructor. My programming philosophy has been dedicated around the snatch and clean & jerk. As a sports performance coach I had my athletes perform these movements twice a week minimum; as a CrossFit coach we would Olympic weightlift almost every day of class and or would have a specific class/club for weightlifting; and as a Kinesiology instructor I introduced the sport and movement to undergrad students. I spend hours developing myself as a coach and athlete to these two movements.
So when I say I am new to this sport I mean I am new to the sense of devoting my time to coaching (more) the lifts, programming to develop athletes to move better and more efficiently with the bar and to competition. I will admit now and this may skew you away from me as a coach (I really hope not though) but I have never competed in a weightlifting meet. I have been a USAW Level 1 Sports Performance coach since 2005 and have taught hundreds of people how to lift and I have been to a handful of meets but never lifted in a meet myself. There it is, take it or leave it. This doesn’t effect or hinder my ability as a coach. I have spent most of my life being the coach than the athlete; that is my passion, other’s success and reaching their full potential. I am currently embracing the culture more and more. I have recently passed my USAW LWC Referee exam and will be at meets as often as I can. I want to learn from experience and other coaches/athletes who have been in this sport. Now since I have gone off on a tangent I want to focus the point of this post. Learning from those who are in the sport.
As I have been researching philosophy, programs, coaching development, etc. in the sport of weightlifting I have quickly learned there is really not a lot. I may own every book on weightlifting, emailed every coach, read every blog, been to every weightlifting club website (okay may not every but you get the idea). I feel everyone is so secretive. On Facebook I created a public group, CrossFit Coaches Learning Community a few years ago. The purpose of this group was to share knowledge and ask questions. Today I have 10,364 members and growing. I also have a Weightlifting Coaches Learning Community on Facebook which the sole purpose to help grow one another as coaches or inspiring coaches to help the sport grow in our country. And I have 12 members. Really?
So why so sneaky sneaky? There is no magic sauce. Sorry to be real but there is not. There are successful coaches that have successful programs and I believe they are successful not because of their program but their ability to coach their athletes and see deficiency in your movements. I have been successful as a coach because I have an eye for human movement, the ability to communicate and knowledge. My programming on the Over the Edge Performance blog is not magic. It’s based off research and applied knowledge as a coach to develop athletes to their full potential.
I do thank the coaches and programs out there who are educating others such as: Catalyst Athletics, Takano Weightlifting, Barbell Shrug’s Flight Program, FU Barbell, etc. Of course there is USA Weightlifting as well and other programs out there but these are just a few to name. I am not asking or telling people to give up all their knowledge and experience for free because we do have to make a living from what we do but asking to share or develop others by not being so secretive.
I keep using secretive but what I am really trying to say is stop being lazy and write or make videos what you know. This way you are sharing knowledge and making money. Boom done. Okay, I know it’s not that easy but if you have something to share, SHARE! Be an energy giver not energy sucker. If you see other coaches making a mistake or a potential “great” coach then reach out to them. This is my challenge to all of you and to myself.