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Never Stop Learning! Coach Cyril earns his USA Weightlifting Coach Certification!


This past weekend my athlete and training partner Kendal (who only learned what a clean, jerk and snatch were about two years ago and scored higher than me on the written exam!!) and I attended the USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coaching certificate training at Lily Weightlifting in Ann Arbor.

Ironically, the certification was taught by Jeff Pillars who gave me my introductory informational meeting the first time I walked into my first CrossFit box in 2012 where he was a coach and he was one of the CrossFit HQ staff at my Level 1 CrossFit training as well in 2014!!


I was very happy that this two day training session solidified the way that I have been coaching the Olympic weightlifting movement to my athletes over the past eight years!


Of course I did learn a few things, and several things that were taught when I started coaching eight years ago have changed, which will help me continue to become a better weightlifting coach and plan to obtain my Level 2 USAW certification in April!


Here are the things I learned:


  1. Weightlifting the Sport of weightlifting made up of the clean, jerk and snatch movements and is only one word versus weight lifting which is the act of weight lifting and encompasses many more weight lifting movements.

  2. Power lifting bars have two smooth rings on the bar where weightlifting bars only have one.

  3. Biggest fault of coaches is explaining/talking too much and not having their athletes moving

  4. Shoulders directly above bar

  5. Bar slightly in front of shins

  6. Inside of Elbows (elbow crooks) pointing down

  7. Weight on mid foot not heel

  8. Hip slightly higher on snatch

  9. Power jerk feet come off ground push jerk they do not

  10. Feet should land simultaneously in jerk

  11. Clean DL stop before back straight and hips are lower than conventional deadlift

  12. Chest up in clean DL vs conventional

  13. Cues for kids not to round their backs: Super girl chest cue, Gorilla chest. Lift weigh up higher for kid starting DL position

  14. Using pulling straps for front squats

  15. Elbow Crook (inside of elbow)

  16. Have athletes stay in a position they are missing (squatting to catch a power clean) and have a conversation with them.

  17. Shoulders tight pinch together on snatch balance

  18. Halo Squat rotating plate around head in bottom of squat

  19. Programming apps: Train Heroic (Jeff uses but doesn’t like), True Coach

  20. Have hair on top of head for safety so hair doesn’t wrap around bar

  21. Not teaching hips back in squat anymore first

  22. Don’t use “don’t do something” tell them what they should be doing

  23. Put hand over head and have athlete hit hand to get full extension

  24. Doesn’t coach shrugging because doesn’t add much

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