When I got involved in Weightlifting and Strength and Conditioning in 1992 teaching the Olympic lifts was not something one did in order to earn a living, unless you were a S & C coach who taught the Olympic lifts as part of a S & C program. Olympic Weightlifting was learned by showing up at a Olympic Weightlifting gym and training with the coach.
In the 90’s, Olympic lifting seminars were not occurring every weekend in every state. In fact, the only Olympic lifting seminars I had ever heard of were given once or twice a year through USA Weightlifting or the National Strength and Conditioning Association. For my first Olympic lifting seminar in 1992 I had to drive 190 miles from Cortland N.Y. to Philadelphia to attend the NSCA’s pre-conference symposium on Olympic Weightlifting. The main presenter was the Men’s Olympic Weightlifting National coach. It was obvious he was a professional. He had a profound understanding of the nuances of Weightlifting which developed through years of Olympic Weightlifting training, competing, and formal coaching education. That day was a wonderful launching pad for my coaching career and gave me an example of what a professional Weightlifting coach looked and sounded like. Experiencing a professional coach helped me separated the “wheat from the chaff” as it pertained to what information I needed in order to be the best Olympic Weightlifter and coach I could possibly be.
The ability to effectively teach the nuances of Olympic Weightlifting is a skill, which takes years to develop. It is impossible to truly understand what is going on during the Snatch and Clean and Jerk unless one has at one point in their lives, committed many years to full time training as an Olympic Weightlifter, and at the very least, mentored under a great coach for an extended period of time. Otherwise they are, as my friend and fellow coach John Broz says, a “hobbyist” and not equipped to teach the Olympic lifts to a piece of toast let alone a human being.
If you are going to make an investment in your coaching career , it’s prudent to do your homework. If someone says to you “I have an investment that will yield 10,000 points on your money with no risk… Guaranteed!” and he is the guy who smells like week old fish who you just gave a dollar to, would you expect that information to be useful?
Along the same lines if someone makes the proclamation “invest in my Olympic lifting seminar and I will teach you how to Snatch and C & J” and they are a “hobbyist”, they might not smell like week-old fish, but I promise you their information stinks just as bad!
Do your homework. There are some great coaches out there for learning the Olympic lifts as well as some hacks. THE BUYER MUST BEWARE!
If you are looking for a coach to do an Olympic Lifting Seminar at your facility drop me a line at info@waxmansgym and I would be more than happy to help you find one in your area. If you are in Southern California/Los Angeles and are interested in investing in a Olympic Lifting Seminar, check out one my upcoming events or Bob Takano’s upcoming events. I assure you, we are no “hobbyists”Fight until your very last breath!
Sean Waxman is the owner of Waxman’s Gym. It’s an Olympic Weightlifting and Sports Performance gym located in Southern California near LAX airport. Its the only gym in Southern California dedicated to all things Olympic Weightlifting!