Developing a high level athlete of any sports takes time and steps cannot be skipped. A young talented athlete needs proper support from the family as well as proper financial support for all the expenses that can be encountered (food, transport, physio, equipment, etc.). A young athlete also needs dedication and discipline (ie : not missing practice and doing the work). The coach, however, is there to lead the athlete on the right path and to make the athlete reach his/her potential fully. Yet, in weightlifting, many often forget about how important stages are and get carried away with weights.
Small details matter in weightlifting, especially from a coaching stand point. When discussing small details of technique, some may say that it is just geeking out or over analysis. Small details are what explain success or lack of success in our sport. I firmly believe in coaching and teaching precise technique and this requires that I pay attention to tiny details and that the athlete work on making those details second nature (ie ; become technically efficient). For instance, many people have trouble being fast under the bar or have to pull really high and ride it down. More often than not, this is due to improper hip action at the end of the second pull which messes with the flow of the lift.
Training methodologies have evolved since the sport was developed. We could probably say that without any doub training methodologies were first refined as a result of different decisions made by sport authorities in regard to competition. For instance, weightlifting used to have single arm events and abolishing those events must have had an impact on how people trained after it was removed from competition. Hence, dumbbell and one handed snatches have pretty much disappeared from most programs around the world.
Most weightlifting coaches and most participants (athletes, official, or club directors) have to debunk myths or beliefs about the great sport of weightlifting. While there are many beliefs that can find roots in the history, most negative – but popular- beliefs often rely on hear say, a misunderstanding of the sport of weightlifting, or anecdotal evidences. One such belief is that weightlifting is not good for children and teens as in it can stunt their growth, injure their body because it is ”not mature enough”, or that the sport is not a positive one for athletes their age. I would like to change this perception of our sport, as not only do I not believe that this sport is bad for children – but empirical evidences actually support the participation of children and teens in weightlifting.
I believe that I am an accessible guy, meaning that I reply to pretty much every e-mails, Facebook messages or questions posted on Instagram and I pride myself in doing so. It sometimes take me a few days to reply, given that I coach pretty much everyday and also have trainees that I train online, but I always reply. People write to ask all type of questions, from very technical questions to more personal questions about their lifts or about my private life. I have put a lot of time and effort into First Pull to make it what I believe is a worthy read (At least, make it something I like) and also a reference in the sport of weightlifting. I’m proud of what I have accomplished and I am also proud of having stayed true to my convictions and mission with this”FP project”, meaning that the site offers well researched content for free and that I can only write when I have some free time. First Pull is, and will always be, content driven. Anyhow, people still write me to know who is ”The First Pull guy” (as they call me apparently) and what is my background. To those interested, this is longer version than my short bio posted on here.
Assistance exercises are often debated and debaters tend to have a wide range of opinions. I have encountered and discussed with coaches and athletes that defend how useless they think assistance exercises are just like I have encountered coaches and athletes that are so much into assistance exercises that the main lifts just does not get the required attention to make it better. In my discussions, I have noticed that people have different thoughts about different assistance exercises when, actually, I don’t think we really need to single out an assistance exercise more than the other one. The most common argument for the use of certain exercises over others, is specificity. I don’t think assistance exercises need to be that specific to be useful and here are my thoughts on this matter.
In Part 1 of this essay, I covered various strategies and ideas for recruiting young individuals in the sport of weightlifting. I went over the role of the coach or club manager in the recruiting process and on how to sell the sport to young athletes. In part 2, I will go over talent identification and talent screening. I will go over key abilities that I think are good indicators of talent for weightlifting as well as discuss the general concept of talent and personality.