My internship program has been quite successful in that we’ve had 50 prospective coaches come through the training. One of the keys to insuring the quality of our participants is the interview and application process that is conducted beforehand. One question that is particularly helpful to me is “What sports have you coached?”
Now if the candidate writes “none” he or she is not automatically rejected as there are other experiences that an prove to quite helpful. Others may write “fitness” or “Crossfit”. That’s not a deal killer either, but it does provide insight into their thought processes.
A serious sport is one that has regular, regulated, organized competitions with a rulebook and officials. It also has very distinct goals that require some strategic thinking to achieve, and it also should feature some sort of coaching development or education. Moreover there should be a broad background of international competition so that the results make meaningful statements about the physical parameters of the human species and there should be a well developed culture within that sporting community.
The goal of a coach should be to select, develop and elicit a performance out of a trained athlete. A coaching intern candidate needs to be familiar with these aspects of coaching.
While the primary mutual goal of the candidate and myself is for them to develop the skills of coaching an individual to perform the snatch and clean & jerk, they need to have the mentality of a competitive athlete in order to relate well to the psyche of the many competitive athletes that are becoming involved in weightlifting.
In addition I am concerned that the psychic ambience of the gym reflects the competitive nature of the participants. Anyone coming into coach needs to be able to contribute to that atmosphere and if not contributing at least be simpatico with the concept. The development of the atmosphere in a gym is a serious consideration for driving the enthusiasm for training.