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Old 05-26-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
Jacob Rowell
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 388

I went last weekend to the new USAW level 1 course, up in East Stroudsburg, PA. The head instructor was Leo Totten, of coach of East Coast Gold and president of Werksan barbell.

I was excited to hear about the new format. I've previously been to the old Sports Performance and Club Coach courses. The sports performance course was back when I was first learning the lifts, and I found it helpful. The club coach provided a little extra info, more in the realm of taking an athlete to a meet, and some slightly more advanced programming.

This course, sadly, provided no new information that I can remember, and was focused mostly on telling us how USAW thinks something should be taught, rather than actually teaching it. We learned what the teaching progressions were, but when it came down to the hands on portion, there was minimal instruction. At best, there was little attention to detail when instruction was given. I'm a piss-poor o-lifter. The one time I snatched bodyweight was when I cut 25# for a strongman contest. Then I gained it back, and my snatch remained. I didn't get any constructive advice over the course of the weekend, when I know my lifts are far from picture perfect.

I understand this is a beginners course, so I fully expected beginners to get the majority of the attention. If I was a beginner (which in performance of the lifts, I still consider myself), I would have probably been less satisfied. I can't imagine coming away from this being able to offer an athlete or client anything new or valuable.

I'd love to see more folks coming to these, and I'm sure that the individual instructor can do a great deal to improve the course they're teaching. Overall, I know USAW can come up with better material and methods, and I hope they make improvements in the future.
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