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Crown Barbell Community Outreach Program

Jan. 03, 2019, 3:49 p.m. (ET)

We started the program by using the Try Weightlifting for a Day as the template. The reason for this was that it implemented the USA Weightlifting Top/Down, Whole/Part/Whole approach that is in alignment with how people learn a motor skill.

The initial challenge was in getting the word out to the community of how this approach is both effective and different than what most people are exposed to.

Fortunately having contacts at the local schools allowed us to find some Kindred Spirits and get the program off to a positive start.

Our suggestion would be to start within familiar territory. Find a school, organization or group that you have a relationship with and offer the program with them. The success you have can be used to expand from that initial point.

We have had experiences where we overextended our resources. In an outreach to a local university we had 36 participants and 6 platforms. Despite placing the athletes into two groups and doing a Lecture/Practical split session it was noticeably chaotic and the participants felt ‘rushed’.

Try to avoid too much too soon. If you over extend yourself or your resources you can find yourself in a situation where the expectations of the participants were not met.
It is better to start small and actively engage the participants than to have a large group where the individuals get lost in the crowd.

Our future programs are to focus on Coaches and Officials. Using both the USOC’s Quality Coaching Framework materials we hope to implement both Safe Sport and the ADM into a Coaches Outreach Program and help support competent, confident and effective coaches.

Implementation began by contacting a Coaches Organization in Idaho and we will be giving a presentation at their annual convention. The challenge will be in providing opportunities that meet a coach’s busy schedule.

All clubs should consider an outreach program for the following reasons. First USAW Clubs have the expertise in safe, proper and effective instruction of weightlifting. Not only will it make you the “go to source” for weightlifting in your area but the people you reach will benefit from your contact with them and that will help grow the sport and your club.

Be eternally optimistic. While you may feel that it is “Two steps forward and one step backwards” you are making progress. Be genuine in your dealings with others and you’ll not only do well but you’ll enjoy it. The Only reason to be a weightlifter is because we enjoy it. No matter what level you are it has to be fun.

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