Ben’s Quick tip #7: Overly Eager Technique Guy.

April 25, 2014

One relatively easy way to differentiate between an actual Olympic Weightlifting coach and someone who likes weightlifting is identifying over-eagerness when giving technical advice.  A true coach respects the fact that actual coaching is a relationship between the lifter/team, the program and the coach.  Experienced coaches (one who’s not assigned to a lifter) more often than not won’t say anything that could potentially interrupt the learning/adaptation process but will instead give general nuggets when asked by a outside trainee.  They key word being “asked.”  Of course, I’m not talking about seminars or anything in which trainees seek out help.  On the contrary, that’s why you go to those things; to gain a different perspective.  One of my long time lifters, Cameron attended a seminar from Don McCauley and my good friend, Jacob Tsypkin.  His lifting has benefitted tremendously.

In short, the coach is the person assigning the lifter/team work which facilitates learning and adaptation.  His or her goal is to guide the lifter through this process and make the weightlifting skill-sets as automatic and repeatable as possible.  He is not the guy taking bar sets for an hour and a half, hanging out on Facebook threads or forums waiting to give generic and often erroneous ques that could possibly be detrimental to this process.  Being a coach myself, I’ll often perform self checks to make sure the technique ques I give are genuinely NEEDED and not masturbatory in nature.  It suffices to say, sometimes you just gotta let ’em work.  My very first weightlifting coach, Kathy, gave me some of the best advice ever: “people are going to say a lot of crap to you regarding technique and training.  Smile.  Be polite but listen to me.”

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