Reviewing my coaching at the Nationals

I’m sure that some readers are probably wondering what went on with my athletes at the 2015 USA National Weightlifting Championships. Consequently I’m doing this self-evaluation as the process is valuable to me.

I coached two athletes at the Nationals. Christine Na lifted in the 58A session and Dan Scanlan who lifted in the 94B session.

Christine’s training went well up until about 3 weeks before the meet. She had a wrist injury that prevented her from jerking and so when she lifted in our local meet on July 19th, she only cleaned and did 98 kg relatively easily. At that point her back was bothering her and she could only get relief by having an epidural injection about 3 weeks before Nationals. We both felt that this would not have a lingering effect on her performance. Unfortunately our calculations were off.

The injection affected her leg strength dramatically.

Subsequently her performance at Nationals was not the best She could only make her openers at 74 and 93. Her cleans were especially affected by the lack of leg strength and she could not rise with 97, although racking it twice.

I will reassess her training for the next competition and make sure that we do not make the same mistake again. Opportunities to compete at Nationals are to be valued.

Christina Na

My second lifter was Dan Scanlan. I had only met Dan at a seminar I presented at his gym, Crossfit Highbar, the year before. He had purchased my book and was following the training. A few months ago he asked me if I would be willing to platform coach him at the Nationals. I don’t normally do this, but agreed as Dan seemed to be a very sincere individual with talent.

We communicated a little about his training and I reviewed some video about his jerking.

When I got to Nationals and started working with Dan in the warm-ups I was amazed at how quickly he was moving and how strong he was. Dan was a little excited at his first Nationals and although his first snatch went up very easily, the second and thirds with 140 were really out of control and he couldn’t secure them. His clean & jerks, however, were superb and he lifted 3 successful attempts to finish with 165, a PR that also gave him a PR total.

I was very pleased with Dan’s lifting.

This little review allows me the opportunity to look back on this event and to help with planning for coaching in the future. I encourage all coaches to review their efforts periodically, as it provides the opportunity for reflection and reorganization.