This past weekend my team participated in the Southern California Weightlifting Summer Classic meet in Costa Mesa. It was directed by one of my former lifters, Chris Amenta. Chris did a great job of organizing and had plenty of help from his crew. We need more of this.
I had a great time platform coaching largely due to the efforts of my assistants, my stunt coaches, Morgan White, Lindsay Dil and Toby Skinner. They handled all of the warm-ups expertly and allowed me to do the cameos out at the competition platform. I truly enjoyed myself.
Morgan has been my lifter for the past four years or so and of late has taken a greater interest in coaching having already passed the WSPCC and AWSPCC, and then assisting me the last several times I taught these courses. At the AWSPCC the week before I explained how I designated warm-ups. At 15 attempts out I have a lifter take a single with 60% of the goal weight for the meet. At 12 attempts, 70%. At 9 attempts 80%. At 6 attempts 85% and at 3 attempts 90%. The opener will be at 94%, the second at 97 or 98% and the third at 100%.
Before the meet I put together a spread sheet listing my 9 lifters, their best lifts in the two heavy singles workouts before the meet and finally the opening lifts. I sent a copy to Morgan. She then figured out the weight of each warm-up attempt for each lifter based on the aforementioned formula, wrote them down and showed up at the competition ready to implement them.
Since Morgan will be lifting in the world masters and I won’t be able to attend, she was also training Lindsey who will accompany her to that event and serve as her platform coach.
For the first two sessions, Morgan implemented her warm-up scheme perfectly and in each case handed the athletes off to me at the competition platform where I could put all my energies into cueing, error correction, weight selection and psychological preparation. The process worked extremely well with each athlete setting personal records and even the novices performing exceptionally well. I very much enjoy “rating” a lifter—figuring out what they are good for and then providing the right cues, encouragements and admonitions to get them to achieve those numbers.
I told Morgan that for the remaining two sessions she should turn the warm-up duties over to Lindsay who had been shadowing her during the first two. Again Morgan’s numbers worked exceptionally well and our final four lifters did some of the best lifting ever.
I really enjoyed doing the platform coaching under these circumstances, and Morgan did well perfecting the warm-up process and then teaching it to Lindsey who is now rather comfortable handling warm-ups.
I also feel that the organization of the warm-up and the efficiency of the process set the tone for the performances of our lifters. They felt very confident knowing that the warm-up process was organized and focused and that both athletes and coaches were all pulling in the same direction.
I’m greatly encouraged by what we did and look forward to teaching this in future clinics and courses.