Last weekend we were in Melbourne coaching the Queensland Team at the Australian Open and Junior (U20) Championships.
The highlight of the event (not just from Queensland’s point of view but for the whole of Australian Weightlifting) was Erika Ropati Frost’s outstanding performance. She became the first Australian woman to clean and jerk more than twice her bodyweight with a lift of 106kg at a bodyweight of 52.75. Together with an 82kg snatch she increased the National total record by a huge 7kg from 181 to 188kg. Her sinclair score of 284.666 is more than 30 points ahead of the next best Australian female (Pip Malone 254 points).
Queensland had a large team of 38 athletes, a 4 person coaching Team and a Tony Ropati-Frost as team manager. Miles Wydall was in the head coach role for this event (which gave me the luxury of being assistant coach).
Many people may not know what the coaching roles entail. The head coach role ramps up a couple weeks before the event – creating a coaching roster so that all weigh-in and warmup duties are covered, athletes will work with the coaches who know them best and the coaching workload is shared around.
Before the event the head coach will also be busy gathering and communicating information – the current form and advised weights for the lifters on the team as well as any bodyweight, pre-comp training and other information that may have an impact.
The head coach also needs to prepare information for the verification meeting including nominating the final point scoring team and the entry totals. This step is crucial – carefully selecting 7 women and 8 men as the point scorers – to maximise the points scored by Queensland. This year Queensland point scoring resulted in us winning the senior and junior women’s shields and coming a close second in the senior and junior men’s event.
During the competition our coaching duties include monitoring bodyweights, taking athletes to weigh-in, warming athletes up, selecting the correct platform attempts for athletes to achieve the outcomes desired (medals, placings, points). The head coach has the final say on what weights the athlete will take on the platform.
The full results of the event are here: