Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Freshman Weight Training

Made it through the first day of weight training camp. There are over 50 guys in this session--that's way too many for actually learning much, but I'll do the best I can. I am thankful the varsity football coach invites me to help. I doubt there are very few women who teach weight training camps at boys' schools. And it establishes respect for me from day one with these student athletes; they know when Mrs.-Coach Fober is in the house, they'd better do it right.

This picture is from a few years ago. I use it to show exactly what is "wrong" about trying to teach weightlifting related movements in big group settings--to kids who need lots and lots of remedial work. The room is a bit more organized now, but you can see the platforms stink; they are built from the BFS model. The bars are not optimal, but like many high schools, the kids make do with what they have. Sometimes it kills me that I cannot have more of an impact. Give me a couple thousand bucks and I'd make the place over right. Safe, functional and kick-ass.

My job is to teach them "something" about that mysterious exercise called the "hang power clean." I hate that term. And I cannot stand coaches who teach from the hang. Most kids have horrible positions using the hang and they have no idea what they are doing. It is the "let's fling the bar up to my shoulders using a reverse curl / hip extension only" momentum lift.

Most of these kids simply need to learn to bodyweight squat, front squat, lunge, etc. Their body awareness and mobility (shoulder /hip / ankle) is lacking for this type of work. But because they will be allowed access to the weight room, it behooves me to give them as much good information as I can; at least they will be a little more knowledgeable.

Yesterday many said "thank you" and were quite attentive and polite. By the time we get to Friday, they'll be a bit more rambunctious. I'll have to work on my calm, assertive energy over the week.

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