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Preparing for a Junior World Championship
Tomorrow we leave for Tbilisi, Georgia. I dread the long travel, but I am confident that my guys are ready. Team Mash is sending Dylan Cooper, Nathan Damron, Tom Summa, and Mason Groehler, and I am the Men’s Head Coach. Some extraordinary athletes all throughout the country along with some amazing coaches will join us.
When we get there, we will have about seven days until we compete. I want all of you to understand some of the thought processes that go into an international competition. Hopefully you will send athletes to an international competition as well.
The workouts will be low volume and somewhat high intensity. We will try to gauge it just like we would in America. Here’s the way the last few days of training looks:
8 Days out- last hard Snatch and Clean & Jerk workout (medium volume and high intensity)
7 Days Out- last hard squat workout (medium volume and high intensity) we will still use accessory work like RDLs and presses depending on the weaknesses of the athlete
6 Days Out- Rest and Active Recovery
5 Days Out- Max Snatch and Opener Clean & Jerk with a 90% Squat
4 Days Out- Power Snatch and Power Clean with mobility work
3 Days Out- Opener Snatch and last warm-up in the Clean & Jerk with an 85% squat
2 Days Out- Snatch 70% 3×1 and Clean & Jerk 70% 3×1
1-Day Out- Active Rest and Recovery
We try to keep our guys and gals on the same schedule when competing at international tournaments. At a National event this is a number one concern. However at an International competition, there are several other things to consider.
1. Time Difference- the key is to start shifting the sleep pattern during the plane ride. The main concern is to have the athlete tired by bedtime in the new country. This might require staying up longer than normal and some extra coffee, but the quicker that one can acclimate to the new time zone will equal and more well-rested athlete.
2. Food Differences- I recommend taking some bars and protein just in case your body doesn’t adjust well to the food. Dylan Cooper is my most picky eater. I will be scrambling like crazy to make sure that we can find him food that he will eat.
3. Making sure that everyone is where he or she is supposed to be. The schedules at these international venues are subject to change. If there is a bus to catch, you have to make sure that your athletes are on it. Communication is the key. Personally I like written and verbal. An email might get missed, but a verbal communication is in stone.
4. Be prepared to make opener changes- I know exactly what my athletes are capable of, but I also have to take into consideration the following things: travel, food differences, and it’s the world championships. If I see a slower bar during warm-ups, I am going to lower their opener. It’s the World Championships. We have to get in the game first.
I didn’t have to do that at all during the Pan American Championships, but I was aware the entire time. We have to get in the meet first, and then I am cool with taking big jumps. I am not cool with a bomb out.
5. Make sure that everyone is safe. The Junior Team consists of athletes 16-years-old and up to 20-years-old. These guys and gals are young. I get it. They want to have fun after they compete, and I want them to have fun. However, I don’t want them to be in danger.
It’s important to know the area. You want to know where is safe, and where is not safe. The best way to travel is in groups and with a coach. I am in charge of eight young men. I will bring 8 young men home with me safely. Of course I will help with the 7 young ladies as well. I want all of us to have a good time and come home safely.
I am excited to lead Team USA into competition with the best junior athletes in the world. I will try my best to keep all of you up to date with the activities and competitions. This same group of men and women will be the very ones bidding for slots at the 2020 Olympic Games, so keep and eye out. This group is very special, and I believe that they are going to help propel the sport of weightlifting in America.
Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:
We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:
• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet
We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more: