A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter, Powerlifter, and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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I completed my Level 2 Coaching course at my own club (Oasis Weightlifting Club) based in Ellesmere Port (North West of England). This took place over a period of two days which were spread out over a week (The 11th and the 18th of August). This week gave each of us time to form several session plans and a specific session plan that we would deliver to the rest of the group on the second day. This specific course, once completed allows for you to become an official Weightlifting coach. In order for you to be insured by British Weightlifting and to be allowed in the warm up room at a competition, you must then purchase a coaching license for £40. I was very lucky in that I didn't have to pay for my own course, I believe the initial price is £500 (there are discounts for British Weightlifting members).
If you are looking to complete your level 2 certificate in coaching Weightlifting, I suggest that you check out what British Weightlifting have to offer on their site (linked below). Note: In order to complete a Level 2 coaching certificate in Weightlifting you must already hold a UKCC Level 1 Award in Coaching Weightlifting or a BWLA Level 2 Award in Instructing Weight Training.
My preparation and experience after my level 1 award
I only had 7 months in between my Level 1 award and my Level 2 Certificate (most people have around a year), but I feel that I found my own methods of coaching over these months and learnt more about coaching from my own coaches experiences. I ensured that I included more fun games at the end of my clubs sessions, which really allowed the lifters to know that sport is meant to be fun as well as competitive. I tried and tested many different games, some which younger lifters preferred to older lifters. I feel that this enabled me to learn more about my lifters as people, this meaning that I could recognize when they were performing to their best or if they simply didn't enjoy a specific exercise. I didn't coach as much as I could've between January and August as I had various competitions I had to prepare for, so I focused more upon my personal training. However, I still felt prepared for the Level 2 certificate through reading some past course material from my coach and from the help of note-taking whilst completing the online-learning material. If you would like to read my level 1 coaching award review, please view the link below.
Online Learning: Review
From just reading the modules that were in the online learning section of the course, I assumed that I would struggle to comprehend and recall the information surrounding anatomy and nutrition. However, most of this content I had already covered within my Btec Sport Level 3 extended certificate. I definitely learnt more about other topics surrounding Weightlifting within the online learning material. I especially enjoyed the Level 2 module entitled 'Effective Communication'. This included subjects such as: Self reflection, Sports Psychology and Advanced coaching. I feel that this is the type of information and knowledge that may be neglected by a coach who doesn't have their Level 2 certificate yet. I was really pleased that this information was accessible from an Ipad as my laptop had recently broken and I was stressing out about how I was going to complete the online learning modules.
Similarly to the Level 1 coaching award modules, there were grammatical mistakes within the e-learning content. This time, some of the information I found difficult to read and understand due to spelling errors. When I've eventually gotten through a long list of things I have to do (hence why this post is 2 months late), I might contact British Weightlifting to make them aware of this.
Contact with the course tutor
I had the same course tutor that I had for my Level 1 award, this made me feel somewhat less worried about completing my level 2 certificate. My course tutor has been brilliant and very helpful throughout both of these coaching courses and I cannot thank her enough for giving me honest feedback about my coaching and emailing me some guidance sheets surrounding programming sessions for youths. My level 2 coaching course included myself and initially four other males, I was a little worried that I might have felt uncomfortable with this. However, both the other participants and the course tutor all made me feel very included throughout the course.
Summary of the course: Day 1
The first day really progressed from the basics of the Level 1 course. I felt that even within the first few hours of the course, that we had all demonstrated our coaching abilities and backgrounds. I felt that within this course, I got to know the other participants better. Whether this was due to the experience I had developed over the 7 months, an increase in maturity, or whether this was due to the tasks within the course making us work better as partners and as a group. I particularly enjoyed the part of the course which allowed for us to partner up and coach each other. There was a slight spin to this which involved the lifter closing their eyes or the coach not being able to use verbal cues. I believe that this truly showed the coaching skills that are required to coach those who have a visual or hearing impairment.
We were familiarized with some common lift derivatives (which we were then able to demonstrate and coach), we were also able to coach the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk to each other. We were provided with a refresher involving warm ups and a cool downs. As a group, we were given the opportunity to improvise and create fun warm up games. A lot of the coaching practice upon the first day was to prepare us for our main assessment within the next week. The week break in between the two course days allowed for us to curate six progressive training programs (three for each Olympic lift), I also coached these sessions before and after the second day. Attached below is an example of one of my six sessions. Please note: This work is my own and if you intend to copy a 17 year old's hand-written program, then that is very low of you.
Summary of the course: Day 2
Before we were to coach our full session plan to the rest of the group, we were able to practice a part of our session (allowing for confidence to be built). In the morning we were also taught the basics of a back squat and a deadlift. Each session had to include a warm up, main session (with a focus upon one of the Olympic lifts), and a cool down. I really enjoyed coaching my session to the rest of the group and I enjoyed learning from the ways that the others coached.
The following information is the feedback that I received after delivering my session:
How did the course benefit me?
I'm not going to lie to you, when I got home after this course I was so stressed out and exhausted from the pressure I put on myself to do well that I just bursted into tears. So I can see why they limit the age to completing the course to a minimum of 17 years old. It's a lot of hard work for me to socialise for long periods of time when I'm not in the mood for it, so sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed. I am to blame since I decided to start learning the online learning material only 4 days prior to the course and that I tend to only remember the bad in every situation, until after a few weeks when I can fully evaluate my experience. This is just a personal issue of mine and in no way at all has anything to do with the course content or level. I left this blog post a bit late so that I had a clear conscious when writing it, otherwise I would just completely break down any form of positive vibes surrounding my own coaching.
The day after I finished the course (even whilst holding the mindset that I was the worst coach in the world), I decided to coach the youths in my club. This meant that I have had to train early or late and stay at the venue for an extra few hours. Since this day, I am proud to say that I have routinely kept this up. The youths that I coach are now very familiar with my expectations of them, how I set out their programs and sessions that I coach and where they are allowed to have choices involving rep ranges, weight (depending upon illness and how they feel on the day) and the games we play to cool down. I have learnt from my mistakes and I am rising above them. Now our club has six male youths who are all eager to lift and as much as they can sometimes be a pain in the bum, if they keep it up I am confident that my coaching and their abilities to lift are going to strive.
Thank you for reading my course review, somehow I've managed to write this in only 2 hours (record time!). Just thought I would add a point that it would be amazing if British Weightlifting would introduce some additional coaching courses relating into Weightlifting and impairments, learning difficulties and disabilities. I would 100% attend a course that meant as I coach I would become more familiar with how to reduce barriers to the sport and to make a sporting environment more comfortable for these individuals. Although I have coached individuals with hearing impairments and learning difficulties before, it would be great if British Weightlifting could shed some light upon the topic of coaching these individuals.