You Think That You’re a Great Coach? Meet Coach Kevin Doherty

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You Think That You’re a Great Coach? Meet Coach Kevin Doherty

When I meet most coaches, all they want to talk about is programming, equipment, or motivation. Guys and gals there is so much more to coaching than those three things. That’s just the beginning. Most rookie coaches have researched their favorite coach or team and semi-copied their programming, so they’re probably on the right track with that. However, have any of you considered the following:

• Qualification totals for youth, junior, senior, and master Nationals
• What about the American Open or American Open Series?
• What about qualifying for youth, junior, senior, and master International events?
• What about stipends for youth, junior, and senior athletes?
• Did you know that youth and juniors could get stipends?
• Did you know that you have to be signed up for the random testing list with USADA for at least six months before being eligible for an International Team?
• Are you going to have a team? Do you understand Team Scoring?
• Do you know the documents required at weigh-in during a National and International event?
• Do you know the best practices at a meet in regards to coaching your athletes?
• Do you have your warm ups prepared with a plan that times them perfectly?

These are just a few of the things that a coach must consider. Coach Kevin Doherty is the master at understanding all of this and then some. No one is better at a meet than Kevin. He has helped me more than once at meets simply because he wanted to help my athletes and me. That’s what makes him an amazing coach. He wants to see all the athletes and the coaches in the United States improve, so that we can get more and more competitive as a country.

For each of his athletes, he knows exactly what they need to:

1. Get the biggest possible stipend to assist with their living and training expenses.
2. Qualify for a bigger meet.
3. Set any potential records
4. Place as high as possible during the meet.
5. Lift a new personal record.

Kevin spends countless hours reading through the information on the USA Weightlifting site along with the IWF site, so that he can understand exactly what he needs to do to help his athletes the most. Guys that’s coaching! That’s what a coach does. They help their athletes reach their goals. A great coach is an advocate for their athletes. They go above and beyond to provide for their athletes.

This week at the World Championships, I have watched Coach Doherty comb over the International Qualification Charts and the Stipend Charts. He’s found multiple mistakes that USAW has missed. That’s not a knock on them. These lists are like a foreign language, and USAW runs off of a small staff. They do the best that they can do, and personally I am grateful that they help our athletes at all.

Instead of a knock on USAW, this is more of me applauding the efforts of Coach Doherty. He runs all the numbers, and he compares them throughout the lists to make sure that everything makes sense. His efforts not only help his own athletes, but they help all the rest of us as well. I am very grateful for his efforts, and his willingness to create a few waves to ensure progress throughout our entire organization.

The reason that I am writing this blog is to show you guys the intricacies of coaching. Yeah this article references weightlifting, but really it goes for all coaching: CrossFit, Powerlifting, Strength and Conditioning, or whatever. If you desire to be a great coach, you must look to master all the intricacies. It’s a lot of work, and it requires a lot of dedication.

I suggest finding a mentor in your chosen profession. I have had several along the way, and I am grateful for all of them. I still have coaches that helping to guide me along the way. I am still a relatively new coach compared to the rest of these amazing people. Some of the coaches that are with me at the World Championships have been coaching at this International level for over twenty years, and I have only been coaching at this level since 2014. I still have a lot to learn, and I think that my best attribute as a coach is that I am open to learning.

Coach Kevin Simons told me that I simply come across as a coach that is open to new ideas, and that other coaches feel comfortable teaching me their ideas and philosophies. I have found that each coach here has something amazing to offer. If I learn from each of them, I can ultimately become better overall coach. It’s more important to me that I learn new things that I can apply to the coaching of my athletes. Too many coaches want everyone to believe that they are the ultimate coach, so they don’t learn from anyone. That one characteristic will prevent them from ever becoming what I consider a great coach. This is by far the most common flaw amongst all coaches.

I also wanted to introduce all of you to Coach Kevin Doherty. If you don’t know him, you should. If you get a chance, you should introduce yourself at a National meet because he is a wealth of knowledge and willing to share with just about anyone. Hopefully I will bring more and more of Coach Doherty to all of you.

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