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More Knowledge Bombs from the Youth Pan Ams 2016
First let me say that this team is killing it. We’ve had 7 athletes compete so far, and we have had 14 medals. That has us averaging 2 medals per athlete. This is my first Youth International Team, and I will tell you that it is quite different.
Normally I have my four boys, and the rest of the team is made up of young adults. There really isn’t a lot required of me at the Junior meets other than coaching and trying to place the team as high as possible. The Youth meets are a totally different experience.
At these meets I get to teach these young ones all about the International experience. I get to teach them that they are representing Team USA first, and their personal goals are secondary. I get to teach them to celebrate their victories with class, and I get to teach them how to learn from their defeats.
Not only that but I get to help the newer coaches figure out their way around the International scene. The flow of the meets is totally different at an International meet, so it’s a ton of fun to teach these coaches the ropes. At International meet has three rules:
1. Get on the board
2. Solidify the highest possible ranking for the team.
3. Last is hit the personal records of the athlete.
A lot of the coaches are used to shooting for big numbers at all cost, so it’s really cool teaching them the process. I am looking to medal first, and then we can go for a record. It’s all about Team USA during these events.
The coolest thing is seeing the look on these young men and women after something successful. There is nothing like being a small part of making one of these young people smile. It truly warms my heart. I am so used to my senior and junior athletes, and they never smile. I have truly enjoyed these young people.
All of these coaches have taught me things that I want to pass on to all of you. My goal is to make all of the USA coaches as good as possible. I am all about Team USA. I hate to see coaches getting petty here in America. At the end of the day we are all on the same team. We all have the goal of strengthening Team USA.
Here are some of the cool lessons that I have learned:
1. During weigh-ins watch the weight register and make sure that number is written on your card. Sometimes the referee doing the weigh-ins will make a mistake. Your job is to make sure that the mistake is not a heavier weight than the one you registered.
2. Bring an Official Scale with you to the meet. Scales are not always convenient for the athletes. If someone is trying to make weight, they shouldn’t have to drive across town to check their weight. They need it convenient, so they use as little energy as possible.
3. Know the Stipend List- Nowadays there are a lot of opportunities to earn a stipend. It is important that all coaches know exactly what it takes for an athlete to make as much money as possible. This goes for youth and junior athletes as well. USAW is really trying to help all of you succeed, so make sure that you are taking advantage of the program.
4. Bring your own chalk- the chalk at some meets might not be the same as your athletes are used to. It’s definitely different here in Guatemala, but we were prepared.
5. Be aware of all numbers- going into any meet a coach should know the lifter’s competition PRs, all-time PRs, American Records, numbers needed to move up the ranking list, and any other important number.
I hope these little articles help all of you to become amazing coaches. I want to coach with all of you at an International competition very soon. Remember we are all on the same team, and that’s Team USA. Of course we are trying to win competitions, but not at the expense of improving the sport. If you are doing something that is working, you should pass that information on. Let’s try to make Team USA great again.
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