“I don’t know half the s*** yall are talking about on that screen. All I got is consistency and luck.”
~ John Coffee

Yesterday was a day filled with video analysis and discussion on the importance of GPP. As we were analyzing lifts and looking at different styles, Coach Newton looks at John Coffee and asks a simple question about the lifts. I expected a complex answer. Newton asked John what he thought about that lift. Coffee responded succinctly stating, “Well he got his knee back pretty good and the bar met his hip pretty ok.” I was surprised at how simplistic John looked at a lift and noticed the two most important features regardless of style. The knees get back off the floor to allow for leverage in the hang position and the bar meets the hips in the proper power position to accelerate the weight vertically. These are the two things John is most consistently looking for and coaching. You can argue with him but he has coached 19 National Championship teams and multiple Olympians. I’m gonna trust him.
Lastly one of the more lively discussions revolved around basic General Physical Preparation. The topic discussed was at what age is it appropriate to allow lifts to begin to specialize and focus on primarily weightlifting. With Robin Goad in the room, who has 3 kids and past Olympic experience herself, this was a great discussion point from her. She stated that she lets her kids play whatever they want and lift whenever they want to. They are not on a specific training program and do not train according to one. The argument made today was that specializing a kid too early in his/her career (16-18 years old) creates a couple significant problems with the growth of USAW.
Firstly, it create kids who get to the time when they are most primed to lift and want nothing to do with the sport. They have focused on it for so long and done nothing else in between sessions that they are burned out and useless for development by this point.
Secondly, their capability for injury is much higher than most as they are have not spent the years developing the areas of their body that weightlifting is not great at developing (lateral movement, upper body pushing, etc). For more on this read my article on plantar fascia.
Tomorrow we take the test to become Senior National Coaches and talk more about the biomechanics of the levers in lifters.
So far this has been a great seminar. Most specifically, the dinner we had tonight as we talked about the state of USAW and where it is headed. More on that tomorrow.