By Bob Takano—Member USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame
For those of us with a weightlifting program in our gyms, one of the most important goals is keeping the lifters actively engaged over an extended period of time. This means that they will be participating long enough to develop their skills and maintain progress and that will in turn allow you to afford to keep your program running and rewarding you.
In order to do so I’ve found that there are 3 keys to keeping your athletes engaged and training regularly.
Key #1: Develop Your Technical Coaching Skills. Most of you out there are moving right along in this area. Whereas I used to see a lot of bad technique from newcomers, I’m currently seeing less and less. The newest generation of coaches are beginning to figure out where to find the best coaching education material and are putting it into action. If you want to maintain a program that is competitive with all the other gyms this is an area where you have to excel. Just as the newer coaches are figuring out how to coach sound technique, the newer lifters and followers are figuring out how to distinguish it from poor technique. They will figure out where the sources of good coaching are and you certainly want to be included in that group.
Key #2: Develop a community among your lifters. Common training times (and hence coaching times) will enable your lifters to bond and form a team that is supportive of each other. This more than anything else will help to maintain continuity in your program. Common training time, however, is just a first step. You also need to plan to have your athletes enter competitions and you have to track their progress. Maintaining club ranking lists and records will keep your athletes engaged and provide them with tangible goals.
Key #3: Develop your program planning skills so that your athletes will continue to train at your gym for years. One of the biggest reasons for athletes to quit training or to seek help elsewhere is a lack of progress. If you can write programming that will insure PR’s for months, if not years, more athletes will be attracted to your program and the ones you already have will stay on for a full career. But program planning can take years to learn without proper instruction. If you want to drastically shorten that time you need the coaching in this area that can only come from an experienced coach with a track record of developing top athletes.
If you want to learn the science behind how to program for success and huge PR’s, be sure to register for my next Webinar happening on January 20th at 10am. You will learn everything you need to know on the subject of Olympic Weightlifting programming and give you the tools and knowledge to develop high level lifters.