Credit Hookgrip

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.


Essay on talent recruitment, identification and retention (Part 1)

Credit Wonderlifter

Finding new athletes, especially kids and teens, is of extreme importance for the competitive success of a weightlifting club and overall success of the coach. The coach or the director of the club always has to be on the hunt for new talent and figure a way to keep the kids that are already members of the club. While Crossfit seems to have a positive impact on the promotion of the sport of weightlifting, it tends to attract mostly people of the 20-30 years old age group. In some cases, some of the newly converted athletes can make it and be successful (think Morghan King or Rachel Siemens in Canada). Your best bet for producing a champion or extremely good weightlifter is still about getting kids from the 9-12 years old age group to try weightlifting and keep them in the sport. In the first part of the essay, I’m going over a few ideas of how to recruit and how to approach recruitment. There are many good ways, but I am going over those that I have tried and have worked for me.

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Weightlifting for the Master athlete

Credit to Lifters life

As weightlifting is getting more popular and gets more people interested about competitions and competing, we are seeing a lot of new athletes – and some not so new- in the master division. We are seeing incredible performance by master lifters at the international level and they should get the recognition they deserve for their accomplishment. In the last few weeks, I received a few emails about this topic which I answered but I figured, that judging by the interest, a post about it would be interesting to others as well. Here are a few thoughts about things to consider when starting this sport at an older age.

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Essay on the Second Pull Part 3 (Final Part) : Should the double knee bend be coached?


This is the final part of my essay on the second pull where I ultimately challenge some of the conventional thoughts on pulling mechanics. In part one, I explained the relations between the second and third pull and I explained the muscle sequencing of the extension during the second pull in part 2. It would be a complete mistake to go over the pulling mechanics of the second pull without at least touching on the famous double knee bend. The double knee bend is the flexion of the knees in the second pull after they have straightened in the first pull. Thus, it is a pattern of knee action that we see in various degree in lifters. Should it be coached? Should this double knee bend be intentional? We shall explore this further. I want to give credit to Bruce Klemens for I used many of his pictures in this post.

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Guest Post by Don McCauley : The catapult finally explained!!

On numerous occasions, I have made the point that debate and exchange of ideas are healthy and good learning experiences. I exchange ideas and discuss weightlifting and its subcategory (programming, technique, etc.) on a regular basis with different coaches and high end athletes. Some have more of a traditional style and some have more of a ”revolutionary” style. I asked Coach Don McCauley to explain his description of the Catapult because the term is absent from our weightlifting lexicon in Quebec/Canada and it seems to be at the center of a big debate in the U.S.  When it comes to technique in Canada, I would venture and say that everybody is teaching in a similar fashion thanks to the educational efforts of some individuals and I say it does not hurt to ask the man a question that should have been asked before : What does Catapulting really means? The following is Don’s description of the lifts.

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On the topic of weightlifting technique: My rebuttal to the naysayers

Every now and then, there is an article that gets published on weightlifting which argues that knowledge or characterization fine points of weightlifting technique don’t matter for most trainees. Ironically, these articles often conclude that technique is what matters the most and that it should be a priority. Different from what I usually post, this piece looks into why the fine points of technique matter for all level, and to a certain extent, it makes the case that discussion of technique with as many people that are certified, qualified, with experience, with diplomas, or not!- as possible is healthy, necessary and the best way to improve your ability as a coach or athlete.

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Understanding the demonstration effect in the coaching process

Consistently learning is the key to high level weightlifting performance. Wikipedia describe learning as the process by which you acquire new or modify existing knowledge and skills. When observed, weightlifting performance- defined as the performance of the snatch and clean and jerk- really is a simple task. However, it is mechanically and neurally extremely complex. Imitation is one way of simplifying the complex task at hand and using what we have got (prior knowledge and skills) to reproduce somewhat the task at hand. It however has its drawbacks.

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The 3 type of athletes and differences in the coaching approach

The process of training humans has to be based on some kind of facts and beliefs, individualized and very well calculated. That is, every trainee is different biological wise, personality wise and background wise. The fact that the human body is not a machine complicate the job of a coach. For instance, there is probably nothing harder than coaching somebody that is, at least on paper, ready for big lifts but won’t believe he/she can. Variation across trainees is not all bad though. As a coach, you need to work with different athletes in the gym to stay sharp and discover new things. That will allow you to really test your method. Anyhow, in my experience, there are three types of athletes that will walk in your gym and all of the them

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The usefulness of the overhead squat for enhancing weightlifting results

The overhead squat has definitely gotten popular over the last few years and it could be due to the love crossfitters have for it. There is a common shared belief that the overhead squats helps in chasing a big snatch. I get questions about this all the time so I figured that I would publish an article on it. Whether it really is useful for weightlifters is relatively debated among coaches. Some think that the overhead squat  has little place in the training of weightlifters and some push it aggressively. In this article, I will explore the 2 main reasons I program the over head quat and go over why the overhead squat has little carry over to the snatch passed a certain level.

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Training atmosphere : training through adversity and admiration

One of the many tasks of a coach is to provide a great training atmosphere that is conducive to results. In other words, we want to limit any distractions and any waste of time so that we can be productive and get the best out of every training sessions. If serious about their progress and their training, trainees should have strong work ethics, be respectful and not let feelings of adversity or admiration get in the way of their goal. It’s hard for a coach to teach how to focus without sounding like an elementary school teacher. Spurted by recent events and based on my experience, this article should be seen as a lesson on how training atmosphere is important.

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