I completed the British Weight Lifting Association’s (BWLA) Assistant Club Coaches’ Course this weekend, and thought it would be nice to write up a few things about it.
It was a 2 day course, all day Saturday and Sunday, and teaches you how to coach the basic Olympic Weightlifting lifts, specifically the Snatch, Clean and Jerk. Whilst it is predominantly a practical course, it doffs a cap to health and safety obviously, a bit on stretching, warm-ups and downs and scheduling (or programming if you prefer that term). As I said though, it is mostly a practical course with some time watching demos of the lifts, plenty of time to personally practice the lifts in small groups of 3 or 4, and a lot of opportunity to coach others.
In terms of assessment, there was a practical test where we had to stand up in front of the group and go though the BWLA method for teaching the Power Clean, including a personal demonstration and also coaching a student. Additionally there’s a 90 minute written exam at the end, which has been sent off for marking, so I’ll have to wait to hear back on how I did on that. It didn’t escape my notice that I was the last to finish the exam! The point being, that this isn’t just a “Certificate of Attendance” course; t is assessed both practically and academically.
We were very lucky to have as our instructors, 2 very experienced lifters who have both lifted on the international stage and refereed at a world class level: Suzy Trebillock and Eddie Halstead. It was a privilege to benefit from their experience.
It was a useful course and I do recommend it. As a Level 1 course it gives the basics of how to breakdown and teach the Olympic lifts. There is a follow on Level 2 course, which is the full BWLA Club Coaches’ course which is over 2 weekends, but that is more theoretical, looking more a physiology and programming rather than practical hands on coaching.