Weightlifting course teaches Olympic techniques

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    Over two days, participants in the USA Weightlifting Certification course learned proper Olympic weightlifting techniques and how to apply those techniques while coaching others.

    This was the first time the course was offered at TCU.

    The idea to bring the course to the university came from assistant professor of kinesiology, Jonathan Oliver.

    Oliver said he wanted to bring the course to the university in order to provide more opportunities to students.

    “As a professor responsible for preparing students for future employment as strength and conditioning coaches, I believe offering a place where they can secure one of the most important certifications is important,” Oliver said.

    The instructor of the course, Richard Flemming, has been in involved in weightlifting for over 60 years and has coached an Olympic weightlifter.

    Flemming said the information learned in the course can be applied in a number of ways.

    “It’s either for teaching people that want to compete or people that just want to get a more generalized knowledge of their body and movement,” Flemming said.

    Students in the class learned the techniques in a classroom and then were required to demonstrate that they could perform the movements.

    Flemming said actually doing the movements is what is important.

    "If you can’t teach the lifts, you can’t get through the course," he said.

    The practical aspect of the course is something that Oliver said separates it from similar courses.

    “Given the technical difficulty associated with Olympic weightlifting, it is important to be able to perform and teach these lifts to clients.”

    The class was open to people from all over the country, not just members of the TCU community.

    Oliver said a number of TCU students participated in the course, but he believes the high cost of the course may have deterred some students.

    Many of the participants were already involved in some type of training and signed up for the course to become a better coach and a better athlete.

    Personal trainer Monica Boldt said the most important thing she gained from the course was to be more aware of her body and her weaknesses.

    “We do what we’re good at. So, we need to find the things that we’re not as good at and start working on those,” Boldt said.

    That body awareness from performing weightlifting techniques is something that can be useful in any sport, Flemming said.

    “You might think you’re moving one way, but in fact you might be moving another way,” he said.

    In order to receive their certification, the course participants were required to take a written exam.

    According to the USA Weightlifting website, that certification as a sports performance coach will last one year.

    Oliver said he hopes the course will continue at the university, but that decision is still under discussion.

    “I believe students with any inclination to work with individuals in a health and fitness area would benefit,” Oliver said.