Rhe Learns to Coach | RAW Barbell Club

Rhe Learns to Coach

This article is an account of Rhe’s thoughts from doing her Level 1 Weightlifting Coaching course few weeks ago. We recorded a podcast on the topic which you can find HERE. Or you can catch he thoughts below.

Rhe Learns to Coach

Over the last two years I’ve had the pleasure of being coached by several people who have shown me the diversity of teaching and weightlifting styles, the majority of my time spent learning as an athlete under Andy’s watchful eye. Throughout my exposure to numerous programs, understanding more about weightlifting, myself as a student of the sport, and dappling with different approaches to training I drastically increased my coachability. This made me realise how little I really knew which sparked a burning desire to seek as much knowledge as I could from many people and sources. Travelling around to interview people for our podcasts, for example, has introduced me to a variety of perspectives and styles within the sport and further developed my respect for others’ practice and craft.

At RAW Barbell Club we train in a sociable group setting where it is encouraged to help one another. Each person has gone through different ordeals in their athletic development and have their own unique way of sharing tips and tricks with others who may be encountering the same phases- such as the benefits of sacrificing fitness for huge strength gains, technical rehabilitation, injury rehab and developing new movement patterns just to name a few. Through watching Andy coach every day for several years and being a part of this environment, it became clear to me that coaching was not a simple job that a PT course could qualify you for. I began to see it expressed as a powerful and attractive art form which combined an understanding of human nature, love of your sport and eloquent movement patterns.

SO when Andy asked if I’d like to take up some coaching and learn the ropes I was stoked, a ‘yes’ with no hesitation! Over the past weekend I completed my AWF Level 1 weightlifting coaching course which was held at Crossfit Horizons in Newcastle. To my surprise and delight I knew a few faces and got to reconnect with people I’d crossed paths with through competitions. Seeing the same people despite coming from completely different gyms is a really cool aspect of this sport, we all speak the same language on the platform and tend to enjoy testing our bodies in weird and wonderful ways…two big areas of bonding.

Jamie Johnson ran the 2 day course and did a fantastic job of teaching the principles of strength and conditioning in a manner which allowed his passion to shine through. There was a mixture of people from Crossfit coaches, recreational weightlifters, those who hadn’t touched a barbell before, to those who were weightlifting officials. The content presented is a great starting point for anyone who doesn’t have a strong background in strength and conditioning or olympic weightlifting, it covers:

  • Athlete and coach safety
  • Some ASADA information
  • Appropriate warm ups
  • The olympic lifts (power clean, power jerk, power snatch, full clean, split jerk, full snatch, clean and jerk)
  • Accessory lifts and strength building (front squat, back squat, overhead pressing, snatch balance variations, overhead squatting, push pressing, etc)
  • Teaching methods covering coaching complete beginners, intermediate and advanced lifters
  • Understanding and developing cuing
  • Programming and periodisation
  • Power development (plyometrics)
  • Some discussion about factors such as breathing, connecting with your athletes, common movement
  • limitations or problems and basic steps to address them
  • A final practical assessment

Personally doing the Level 1 course was most beneficial for gaining confidence with the security of foundational cues and principles applicable to all lifters, beginners in particular. It’s also a great networking experience. As a student you get tonnes of time under a barbell learning to apply the principles to yourself as well as coaching a partner throughout the weekend. The environment allowed us to observe the cues others brought to the table and put them to practice on other people, lots of trial and error in a safe learning space.

I’m ridiculously excited to be learning from both Kush and Andy as I start to take on more responsibility with their club and developing its athletes. As a part of our growth I want to put together some posts to keep it real with everyone about the process and continually pass on knowledge to you all as well, from a different perspective. The nitty gritty, the not so pretty, the exciting, the awesome, the controversial…!

Until next time,
Rhe xx


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