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weightlifting a dying sport as regards youth in ireland
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padraig



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: tralee

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: weightlifting a dying sport as regards youth in ireland Reply with quote

i was training a young weightlifter for six months,this guy had great potential very good flexibility strong and good technique,now he has decided to give it up which was a major blow to me i thought this guy would go far in the irish weightlifting circle,i do think there is a need for more squad training for the likes of young talent coming up the ranks these are the people we should be encouraging into the sport,the numbers are small in munster region at the moment in tralee there is only 2 lifters i am trying to get more young people involved but i am finding it very hard has any 1 got any views on this?

Last edited by padraig on Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Weights_Admin
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 644
Location: N. Ireland or Arkansas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take him to competitions, 6 months training means he was training when UL held their competition. Was he there? I did my first competition after 4 weeks training, I was of course not very good but seeing the likes of Jim Power (who was training for Commowealths) and Joe Kerr who was my bodyweight inspired me to keep at it knowing what I was lifting even in the squat at that time was what they were firing up above their heads.

Training environment also is a big factor. Youth will train if there are other youth there and also if the coaches acknowledge the fact that younger people may not have the same attention spans as older people. Making the art of learning the technique so it is attractive to young folk I think is one of the big considerations.

IAWLA can only do so much but as can be observed on this forum people like Kevin Darcy and Cathal Byrd have arranged their own squads or informal meetings to push people along. I also used to train at several different places in NI to get different environments so maybe every so often you could become involved in arranging an informal squad session for people in your area or ask if you can bring yourself and the other guy (if you can get him back) to go to UL, Galway, Dublin, Belfast?

The reason the sport in the past was foundering was lifters when finished did not coach and everyone in general was not proactive enough to push the sport forward. I think this is changing and we have entered into a new era in Irish lifting.
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mikec



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well first of all congratulations on training someone so intensively for 6 monthes im sure that it wont be wasted at all in time.I can understand you feeling that way .
I train 4- 7 lads depending on any given level of injury or whatever it is keeping them out of circulation , they last longer if they are doing it ina socially rewarding environment and if there is a level of friendship existing therein , we dont put any pressure on them except that they are all expected to do stated competitions , seniors , one club international if its on , and so on ,and by then they are chafing at the bit
send your guy up to us some time, Im kind of a fan of hybrid programs as it keeps stuff interesting for them plus it helps that if you know them socially you can have a better base to batter them into the shape you want later Twisted Evil
I know if you find it disheartening what happened them quitting is no reflection on anything as there are myriads of reasons why it happens, there will be more especially if you work with teams.
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Kevin Darcy
Kolecki's Understudy


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 256
Location: galway

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikes advice is well worth listening to, he is a very very very good underage coach and motivator. He coaches most if not all of the young guys in Galway and they respond really well to him. Statistically this means he actually coaches more underage lifters than anyone else in the country. Its worth remembering that Mike was my first coach and without his encouragement I would probably drifted to powerlifting.
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Eamonn Flanagan
85kg lifter


Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: youth Reply with quote

I sgree with Peter that attending a competition early could help keep someone in the sport or at least help the youngster decide if he thinks its a sport in which he wants to compete. The person doesnt even necessarily need to compete, he or she could just watch and take it in t see if it something they want to be part of. If they decide it is not for them, then at least that might save you some time an effort in terms of coaching a lifter who wont compete. If they like it, then I think it is likely that it will serve to further focus their training and keep them working hard to get to a standard that they think is acceptable to compete at.

Mike is definately right about keeping training varied and social for newcomers to the sport. And Mike is doing a great job of bringing and keeping new lifters to the sport.
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padraig



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: tralee

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: youth Reply with quote

These are all good points,what i think the assosciation should do is to have a squad training for the young lifters to have lifters at the same age group at the same level and also to have a trophy for the most improved novice lifter in a competition and a trophy for best technique among young lifers,like a best lifter award,the money should be aided towards the youth when i was in bulgaria 2 years ago i seen the young weightlifters in action these guys were impressive there was 8 platforms in total 4 lifters on each platform at the same weight class they would train twice a day,if the assosciation got something going like squad training once a month for the young lifters it might bring them up to some level,the young guy i was training wanted to train with his own age group but this is'nt possible due to the lack of interest in the weightlifting as regards youth,he attended the cork open champs to view for himself what a real competition was like,its very difficult to keep a young lifter motivated without having other lifters of the same age group it goes back to my initial point.
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mikec



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you padraig
but if we could even get the time and coaches for the senior teams to do that once a month there would be a massive difference in some standards ,i believe ,we may lack the ability to do that consistently with a junior team or even the seniors no matter what we think and how we arrange it time is not our friend in this regard as none of us are professional athletes Sad let alone the juniors its all great to say that we should manage all you suggest but my juniors cant gaurantee they make training all the time owing to their education etc.
How old is your athlete ? what was his temperament ? could he be approached by you again ? if you want a junior squad session this month i will arrange it with galway city gym , bring him up.that i feel will be a start.
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Eamonn Flanagan
85kg lifter


Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mike. Its best to take the initiative and organize such training weekends ourselves. The organization/committee have serious financial constraints (and time constraints I am sure) so realistically a monthly training camp is never going to happen. Also, considering that some of the better young lifters are as far apart as northern ireland to cork, then a monthly training camp probably wouldnt work out from the lifters point of view either.
But if like-minded coaches get together and plan collaborative training for young athletes it could help young athletes stay in the game.
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padraig



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: tralee

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mike he is actually 19 years old front squatting 105 kgs for 3,back squat 120kgs for 3,clean and jerking 90kgs snataching 65kgs and benching 140kgs,with relation to galway mike i do believe this would be a long trip for the new lifter i want to set up some kind of training for the young lifters like in munster i would be willing to drive him to limerick,i have a few more lifters in tralee that might be interested in the sport it would be nice to have a young squad again in munster when i first started training there was 3 of us lifting at the same age and bodyweight this is what i would like to see happen again in the munster region,what days do ye train in limerick eammon?
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Weights_Admin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get something set up with Limerick then. They seem to be quite happy to allow other lifters to come down and train.

I find training environment is good when training with any motivated individual irrespective of age or bodyweight. Some of my best training sessions were with Laurence who was (a little) older and 2 BW classes above me.

Now that I am over here I have recently encouraged a guy who is easily 18 stone to begin squatting again and easily beats me but the chance to train with someone and to try and narrow the margin is a challenge.

Try not to look at the negatives of a situation but try to find novel ways to overcome various perceived problems. I think we have a group of very friendly lifters who are willing to help and we should make the most of it.

What bodyweight is the 19 year old?
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mikec



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: junior squad training Reply with quote

there will be a regional training session on sunday in galway city gym , informal , no tuxedos please. we are extending the invitation and i have just contacted all our lifters so now there is a junior squad session being held , pending amount of responses , up to ye if you want to visit us you will be welcome Twisted Evil
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Eamonn Flanagan
85kg lifter


Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: youth Reply with quote

Padraig, there are 4 active lifters in Limerick: myself, sean o'sullivan, cathal byrd and andrew murphy. However the 4 of us rarely train at the same time, its often more likely that any two of us train together. There is one platform in the UL arena gym so anymore than 3 of us training at the same time really slows things up and leaves too much time between lifts. But in general there is usually someone training each day in Limerick. I generally train mon, tues wed and fri at about 3pm and on saturdays at about 10am.
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cathal byrd
69kg lifter


Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 439
Location: Limerick

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that the best time to train in UL would be a Sat or Sun as these are the days when we can use the private 'elite gym'. There are 6 platforms there and four racks, plenty of bars available. Barry Vaughan and Paidi Roche pop up every few weeks and Kevin and Mike have also trained there a bit. If people can give us a bit of notice before they call up we can organize a session.
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Colin K Bell
85kg lifter


Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 169
Location: Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, N Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"for the young lifters to have lifters at the same age group at the same level and also to have a trophy for the most improved novice lifter in a competition and a trophy for best technique among young lifers,like a best lifter award"
I agree with Padraig on this point as quoted. Young lifters should be rewarded even if they arent "elite" standard. Look at other sports and see how they are able to fully participate at low levels and get small rewards and self-esteem. I think BWLA were doing a scheme whereby young lifters could register their lifts and progress by post. That was a reason I walked away from our sport discouraged a few years ago.
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Weights_Admin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lifter in question is 19 so therefore he should be able to compete in a competition defined by max attempts rather than technique. Some other countries do have competitions marked on technique but these are for younger age groups.

There are National Records for U16, U17, U18 and U23 so the younger lifters do have targets to aim for. With regard to competitions this particular lifter in question could attend the Youth competition and also if he attends University there is the University Championships. Currently the numbers of youth are not extremely high to hold many more competitions throughout the year so informal competitions/squads between relatively local clubs may be the way forward.

I suspect it is within the club environment and the daily training that the decision to continue with the sport takes place rather than whether there is a competition. St Gabriels had a lot of young lifters who would turn up just because there friends were there and George Whiteway did a lot to help these guys stay in the sport:

1. Made t-shirts for the kids
2. Instead of buying expensive shoes he got a heel glued to a pair of their trainers.
3. Took them to competitions to mix with more experienced lifters.
4. Got them in the local paper

I have also heard of other clubs having rewards for their kids when they reach certain targets such as a BW lift they get a t-shirt or their name on the wall etc.

I think IAWLA are making more of an effort in this area and I received an encouraging email regarding this issue today which could help the development of weightlifting in youth. I will see if this can be put up on the forum but it sounds very exciting.
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