Teaching Beginner Youth Weightlifters….Position, Position, Position!
When starting a youth Olympic weightlifting program there are not a lot of resources to pull from unless you read many of the old Soviet texts, which we highly recommend you do! If you’re looking for information on where to begin then we can help you out!
The first and absolutely most important thing to keep in mind when training youth is that it is never about “going heavy or “maxing out” it is about building consistency and strength in the various positions of the pull. This doesn’t mean we will never go heavy, but it does mean we will not at first. New youth Olympic weightlifters should be taught to lift from the top down and only allowed to progress down to the floor as they show absolute perfection in each position. They should be able to exhibit perfect technique for a set of three before moving down.
It’s important to note that any “small” problems overlooked now can become really big problems after years of training and hundred and hundreds of reps performed. This is why it is incredibly important to focus on consistency in each position of the lift. When youth first start training they can and should perform a ton of reps (literally hundreds of reps) at each position to establish the consistency. They should be squatting to build a foundation and a GPP focus should be maintained to ensure the young Olympic weightlifter develops into a well rounded athlete. The GPP focus should consist of many different exercises including: pull-ups, jumping, back extensions, dips etc.
All of these things come together to build the consistency we are looking at in these young athletes. It also develops them into well rounded athletes who can choose to excell in any sport they choose or they can choose to pursue Olympic Weighlifting as their sport! By focusing on positions and consistency of movement as they age and become adults you are setting them up for a successful athletic career and ensuring they stay healthy and don’t develop bad habits.