Posts

Introducing weightlifting to juniors

There are few things in coaching as rewarding as helping a young person achieve something for the first time: a forward roll, a cartwheel, leaping over a hurdle or standing up with a weight above their head. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Conversely, there are few things in coaching as difficult as coaching a group of young people whose minds and bodies are going through the turmoil of puberty and school and socialization. In this article I shall outline some of the coaching and technical ideas that I use when coaching juniors.

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Three effective alternatives to Olympic lifting

Throughout my coaching career I have come to understand that the majority of coaches who work in athletic development can be divided into two categories. On the one side there are those who feel the Olympic lifts are the end-all-be-all to training. They often think that in order to be successful you must do the Olympic lifts. On the other side are those coaches who feel that the Olympic lifts are only necessary for those who compete in Olympic lifting. These coaches don’t necessarily use any type of Olympic lifting or variations of Olympic lifting in their training.

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GAINcast Episode 214: The good coach

We all talk about good coaching and see to know it when we see it, but often we are lost for words when asked to describe it. On this week’s GAINcast we dive into coaching excellence by defining it, sharing examples from our own experiences, exploring how coaches get better, and looking at how different components contribute to success.

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A planning framework for weightlifting

The people who come to our club to learn weight lifting are normally in their mid to late twenties and have had experience of lifting a barbell before. Unfortunately, a lot of them use the C-word in their enquiry, but I don’t hold that against them. They have found that they like the lifting part of Crossfit and want to just do weight lifting or they want to improve their technique to go back to their box. A few of these novices want to compete and whilst they won’t break records they have managed to win medals in their age/weight categories since training at our club. Read more

Beyond shapes

During last month’s GAIN Master Class Series event, Grace Golden spoke a lot about shapes. “Shapes” has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years. The concept is great: if you body can’t make the shapes your sport needs, you don’t stand a chance. By focusing on shapes, we start shifting the focus from muscles to movements. But what is often missed in the message is that shapes are not enough. Shapes are just one piece of the performance puzzle. To reach elite performances, you have to go beyond shapes. Read more

GAINcast Episode 193: Chasing perfection

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. But what is perfect? Is there such a thing as perfect technique? On this week’s GAINcast we look at technique, movement, and perfection. By better understanding what we’re chasing, we can better frame and design what we are doing in training. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 216: Ahead of the curve (with Gary Winckler)

When it comes to sprinting and hurdling, few coaches can put together the accomplishments that Gary Winckler achieved in his career. But what was more impressive than his results was his process. He continuously sought out new ideas to improve upon what was already one of the nation’s top programs. He joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about staying ahead of the curve, and how his coaching changed over his last decade of coaching, especially in regards to skill acquisition and exercise selection for sprinters. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 208: History in the desert (with Joe Kovacs)

The most amazing performance at the recent World Athletics Championships didn’t take place on the track, it took place on the field. On his final attempt, shot putter Joe Kovacs summoned the best effort the world has seen in nearly 30 years. Not only was his performance historic, but the whole competition was as he edged out both of his top rivals by just one centimeter. Kovacs joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about the competition, the ups and downs he’s faced in the years leading up to his breakthrough, and the evolution of rotational shot put technique. Read more

Training talk with John Thrush (Part 2)

Earlier this week we posted part one of our interview with weightlifting coach John Thrush. Thrush has had a long and distinguished career coach national champions from the Pacific Northwest. In part one we looked at his own development as a coach and the two key elements of his coaching philosophy. In part two below we dive into weightlifting technique, and help athletes with the mental side of training. Read more

Training talk with John Thrush (Part 1)

American weightlifting has reinvented itself over the past few years as new clubs and coaches have emerged across the country. Unfortunately, throughout this process some of the old names and pioneers have been overlooked. One of those is John Thrush. Read more