As a practice, I love to switch my role from coach and being the one who gives instruction to the athlete and in turn, receiving instruction, coaching and maybe even as they say, "getting schooled." Eating a slice of humble pie now and then is always something that keeps our feet on the ground. I don't mind it one bit, never have and frankly, I like the taste...
As a professional strength coach and trainer, barbells, dumbbells, Kettlebells are all highly familiar objects for me and take up a substantial amount of space in my brain. I can imagine the feel well of my fingers curling around and Olympic bar and know the 45 pound weight of it instinctively.
But ask me if I ever coached an Olympic weightlifter, (Snatch and the Clean & Jerk) and I'd answer no. Although I have a good understanding of the Olympic lifts and huge respect for the amount of technique involved, it's a whole different world when you ask yourself to perform these lifts. Especially under the watchful eye of an experienced weightlifting coach.
For years, I have wanted to do the USA Weightlifting certification where coaches like me are taught the details and progressions of these lifts. USAW is the governing body for weightlifting competition. There certification is great (I have been told by peer coaches) but there are other schools out there.
Somehow, I got insanely lucky. I found out that right here in my new city of Winston-Salem there is one of the best weightlifting coaches in the world right here. Actually it is in the town of Advance, NC, about 15 minutes from my house where Travis Mash has Mash Elite Performance. (mashelite.com)
Travis just hosted a weightlifting seminar as he does throughout the US and I was eager to take off my coaching hat and get coached and learn these techniques on a whole new level. The seminar was very hands on with Travis taking the lead and his crew of coaches there were eager to step in and help throughout the day. My progression in technique through the day was as fast as it possibly could have been, (in my opinion) but don't get me wrong, I have a considerable amount of work that I am looking to put in before I can say that I can perform these lifts at a level that I'd like to.
It doesn't come together in one day. However, the knowledge and understanding gained in one seminar coupled with years of understanding the lifts can immensely expand your outlook and ability. You have to start somewhere is what I always tell my athletes.
I finished the day charged with huge enthusiasm energy, in spite of a few failed attempts in the Snatch lift. Why did I feel so great? Because I love to learn. I love to pursue new knowledge, skills and perspective. And I love to learn from great people like Travis and his crew.