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By Donny Shankle

I am not going to delve into the intricacies and ambit of coaching, but briefly focus on your mannerisms and how you should interact with champion weightlifters. Manage their adaptation, sit down, when you have to give cues give one at a time, and be a source of positive instruction.

Teach your lifters to move gradually in training and to put lifts together in competition. Brio is great but keep the back slaps and yelling to a minimum. Do not stand over them arms akimbo like a drill instructor. Pull up a chair and watch. Do not give too many coaching cues at once. Say one thing and let it sink into the lifter’s mind. Watch him apply this cue to his lifts and then work on correcting something else. Talk to your lifters and let them know you expect disciplined training. Doing so will encourage them to become professionals and look at you as a source of confidence not to be disappointed. Unite weightlifters you are coaching under one setting and let them find out who is the best. This will be your greatest challenge but possibly most important. When lifters train together as a team, talk to them as a team. Demonstrate to them if one weightlifter is showing up daily and making personal records, then all are capable of the same performance. This will teach them to be aggressive and confident in their durability. Something they will certainly need to sustain the tiresome training it takes to become a champion.  

Always be a source of encouragement. The weights will beat them up enough. This does not mean you should try to kindle a fire within weightlifters you are coaching. The fire must already be there and he or she must want to train, be in the gym, and compete. Cultivate the fire already present in them. Embolden them to never be content with winning local or national competitions. Remind weightlifters you are coaching that weightlifting is a world and Olympic level sport. Communicate they can become Olympians.