Monday, March 16, 2009

Highschool Lifting Meets...Sight for Sore Eyes

This weekend I was asked to judge a high school football weightlifting contest hosted by Bloomfield High School (CT). Athletes from 9 area high schools were tested in 3 lifts:

  • Squat

  • Bench Press

  • Cleans

I was in charge of judging the squat with 2 other coaches. Mind you, I have never judged an event this large. There was a total of 215 football players representing, so we really had to churn out these lifts and rotate position players efficiently. Each judge manned a cage.

I followed the guidelines set by the coaches in the beginning of the weight-lifting meet. For the squat a "point" was given for a parallel squat. Each player had to reach a set "bungee cord" that was adjusted to meet the buttocks when the femur was parallel with the floor. Each athletes was given 3 attempts.

Testosterone was high...adrenaline was was high...

This is what I saw by my first batch of Offensive Lineman...

16 year olds with SEVERE anterior pelvic tilts wearing belts attempting 415, 435, and 495. Players were shaking and not setting up. They would unrack the bar and go directly into the lift. Unbelievable. And coaches and fellow players were cheering them on.

Next up...wide receivers...

Tall, lanky 17 year olds attempting 225 with erratic knee abduction and unbelievable cervical hyperextenion.

Running backs...

Short players attempting 350, 375, and 390 and missing. Missing the weight and watching them crash down.

It was a sight for sore eyes ---especially mine as a corrective exercise guy. The most disappointing thing in this entire experience for me was the emphasis on numbers. Coaches demanding athlete attempt certain numbers...simply reinforcing the dogma that strength is achieved in high numbers and poor form.

I wanted to silence the entire gymnasium of 215 players and show them a correct squat, but I was out-numbered. Coaches screamed and yelled, while players egged each other on...

It is funny how I saw 3 players with leg braces that represented some sort of knee (ACL, meniscus) injury.

You know what? My job is definitely intact.


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