When I train my kids, we focus mainly on full body strength using mainly bodyweight and light resistance. However, they are capable of lifting a lot of weight. They routinely try and pick up and carry each other and their friends and they are always trying to lift up heavy objects in the yard. I feel that when coached correctly, the deadlift can be a great loaded exercise for kids. I also like to have my children work towards a goal because when they know that they are coming to train for a purpose, they are much more motivated.
|Megan pulling 236.5 lbs.|
And so, I worked with them all over the summer and finally got a chance to test their progress this past weekend.
Coaching is a lot of fun, but can be really nerve racking. It took me a few years as a weightlifting coach to be able to have a good sense of what my lifters were capable of at a competition. Competition makes everything seem lighter and so a lot of PRs are set. However, if you are too ambitious and your lifters can't make their lifts, they may be very unsatisfied with what they did manage to make. For example, if you know you can pull 225 and pulled that on your first attempt, its a hard decision to move on to the unknown. What if you pull 235 and it was really easy and wished you'd tried for more? What if you tried 245 and didn't make it and were stuck with 225 as your pull for that day? Mix in the fragile egos of children and the wanting-to-please-your-children instinct of a parent and you've got a pretty tough job. And like I said, I'm pretty good at telling my weightlifters what they can do, but powerlifting is a different sport altogether and I'm not confident in making guesses here just yet.
|Elizabeth with 88 lbs.|
|Francis with 121 lbs.|
|Happy kids, proud coach.|
When Francis went to pull, it was apparent that he was fighting the bar and that he was going to win. Again, the crowd was on their feet cheering for him and I don't think I've seen that kid happier in a long time.
So, all in all, a great day, everyone did better than they ever have and set some new PRs. Best part, everyone lifted with good form and did the best they could that day. My youngest son Patrick is very excited for the day when he gets to go to his first meet, but he's going to have to wait a while.