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 was so desperate to write this around the time I actually completed the course and I never got around to it! I wrote some notes down around the time upon my opinion and experience when completing the course. This course takes place over two days of practical work and features some work that must be revised over and completed upon British Weightlifting's online learning platform prior to the course. Once this course has been completed, you are given the title 'Assistant Weightlifting Coach', which allows you to assist a qualified Level 2 coach and to coach under the provision of a Level 2 coach.
I completed my course on the 26th and 27th of January as Crossfit Leyland (North of England), the course began at 9am each day and finished at approximately 5pm. Currently, the course costs £350, but if you are a British Weightlifting member, you can receive £50 off the course. Here is the link to British Weightlifting's information regarding all of the courses they offer. I suggest you carry on reading if you are considering taking this course.
My preparation and experience
Although I am only 17 years old, I have been unofficially coaching Weightlifting under the supervision of a Level 2 coach for approximately 5 years. This has allowed me to create my own training sessions and deliver them to young Weightlifters. Usually, it is the qualification that would allow you to do this, however since my club has fluctuated in its number of members over the years, I have been given the opportunity to slowly build up my confidence from coaching small skills to then completely analyzing and correcting technique upon the spot. I believe by doing this, due to my age, I was very prepared for the course.
However, I believe that as long as you know the basics of Weightlifting (the technique, what not to do, failures and the two lifts) and have the intuition to coach and recognize where mistakes could be made, then you are prepared and able to take this course. You will be given access to British Weightlifting's Online Learning platform, which will provide you with information to revise over that will educate you upon any other knowledge you do not know about the sport, that is required for the course.
Online Learning: Review
I personally felt, from my perspective when completing the online learning section for the course that it provided me with details that were featured upon the course. The content was easy to pass through and provided interest through videos and colourful diagrams. This meant, the information was easy to recall when questions were asked on the online learning platform and during the practical sessions of the course. Therefore, the information introduced me clearly to the course and helped me to have a basis of what the course would require of me upon the practical days. I recommend making notes from the online learning material, not everything is necessary if you know how to perform the Olympic lifts, but the structure of the example sessions and safety precautions I found were beneficial to make notes upon.
The only point I would like to put across, is that the information online should be double checked over. Some simple grammar issues have been made and uncorrected, this made some information difficult to understand. As a 17 year old with no issues with English nor learning difficulties, this wasn't such an issue for myself as I had the knowledge to understand what was actually meant by the incorrectly phrases sentences. However, take for example someone with severe Dyslexia, learning difficulties or those who aren't excellent at English, they may struggle to understand some confusingly worded content.
Contact with the Instructor
Online and Offline
The instructor introduced herself on the online learning platform before we met up for the two practical days and provided us with her contact details if we had any questions. This was very useful, in case content upon the course wasn't understood or working. During the two practical days, I asked about many topics about the course, ensuring that I knew what was required when I was to lead a practical session. The instructor was very clear and friendly when answering my questions, which really helped me to settle in and feel less nervous (as I was the youngest there). Her guidance was very beneficial, from the start to the end of the practical days.
Summary of the course: Day 1
When I first arrived there was a brief introduction to the facilities and everyone on the course introduced themselves.
We received booklets upon the Weightlifting technique and were refreshed over the technique. We were asked to spontaneously come up with warm up activities, which later progressed into teaching a movement to the group throughout the day. This allowed for the sharing of knowledge and promoted creativity, which I really enjoyed.
We were told that on the second day, we would have to lead a group session and were able to think about what we may coach and how to construct a training session suitable for a targeted age group/ level.
The online learning material was highlighted and some knowledge I already knew was mentioned, however there were parts of information which I had never learnt before. For example: Different ways to configure your Snatch grip.
Summary of the course: Day 2
Before I lead my session, we had the opportunity to practice what we were going to demonstrate in our session with guidance from our session plans we had written.
Leading the session
I lead the session without the usage of my session plan and naturally began to coach how I would at my club. The instructor would ask to see parts of each section of the session to save time and to get through everyone's session plan. I targeted my session towards young people who were intermediate Weightlifters. I structured the session plan with a warm up, main session and cool down. Each section featuring activities aimed towards young people, making the session fun and enjoyable. The written session plan and practical deliverance of the session were both graded and counted towards my final grade.
After all the sessions had been completed, we all received feedback as to what was good and could improve. I was told that:
How did the course benefit me?
Once leaving the venue, I felt more independent, confident (after partaking in a course with some Masters of Science Students), creative and ready to improve my coaching. When I went back to my club, I conducted my same training session. Over the past few weeks, I have used many of the fun games that the others incorporated into their sessions, which the young lifters enjoyed and gave me excellent feedback on! I feel more confident in my ability to coach, as the qualification backs up my experience and proves that even for age, I have the ability to be a good coach even though sometimes people underestimate me. The price of the course can often discourage people from completion, but hands down, it was worth it. I enjoyed both days, the content was interesting and I definitely feel that I have improved qualities within my coaching since then.
Thank you for reading this post, I'll be sure to write another upon my Level 2 Certification and may compare the two courses.