I think it’s time that I reviewed our internship program because the participancy and hence the character of the internships has changed. Those people wishing to improve their coaching might want to consider joining us.
We graduated our first group of interns in July of 2014 and since that time 41 individuals have gone through the program. Although the educational and preparatory backgrounds varied, the uniting factor was a desire to improve their coaching of the snatch and clean & jerk.
As we’ve moved forward I’m more frequently encountering individuals with sound backgrounds in exercise and sports science. All of them have come in with adequate to good lifting skills, and most have done some coaching.
What has universally united them has been a lack of opportunity to refine their coaching skills, and the realization that their coaching improvement could only take place in a dedicated weightlifting facility that considered coaching education a priority.
A good percentage of them have arrived with the intention of going into strength and conditioning coaching as a profession. They’ve taken all the requisite academics, but have been unable to find any practical training. This is truly unfortunate as there is a need for new blood in the profession. My interns are academically better prepared than many of the practitioners I’ve encountered over the years, but they are very much wanting of a vocational track. Here at Takano Athletics they have the chance to work with young athletes in a variety of sports. Furthermore they get the chance to consult as to the nature of the training we provide, and then to have their own coaching evaluated and critiqued.
Another good percentage of the interns are working in gyms and are anxious to develop their weightlifting coaching skills. Because the range of our athletes runs from juniors to 70+years masters, the variety of training situations is considerable and our interns are presented with opportunities to solve many problems.
A big part of the interns’ exposure here is simply the opportunity to talk about how assistant coach Toby Skinner and I are working with the various athletes. In many cases we end up reinforcing their perceptions of the process and that can be especially gratifying to up and coming coaches.
We also expect the interns to help coach athletes during competitions and this provides them with an opportunity to learn the mechanics of performance preparation. Since many of the interns have not had a great deal of meet experience, this is especially valuable.
If you are interested in enhancing your education as a coach you might consider joining us. Just go to http://takanoweightlifting.com/coaching and read more about what we have to offer!