I started working remotely with Will a little over a year ago. I had been competing in Olympic Weightlifting for about three years, and I set out a goal to compete in a national meet. I qualified for American Open Finals in 2017 and achieved that goal; however, the training program I had been following was getting stagnant, and my lifts weren't improving. I reached out to Will before the competition for some quick help and pointers with my snatch. He made me aware of some issues in my technique and gave me some drills that could help. I was happy with my performance at AO Finals, but I wanted to take my lifting to the next level and improve on my total. That is when my journey with SAA began.
From day one, Will has shown me the depths of his knowledge and has always been encouraging in my abilities. When I first started lifting, I was always reliant on just feeling the movement and expecting my body to do what it's supposed to - but that mentality only got me so far. The quality of Will's expertise and programming has heightened my awareness in my movement. I find myself making more conscious movement decisions rather than just moving from point A to point B. I've also learned the value of accessory work and have seen the benefits translate to my lifting and movement.
For me, one of the biggest keys to a successful coach/athlete relationship is trust. I've always felt comfortable expressing my needs and issues as an athlete to Will, and he is great about assessing what I need to get done in order to fix my issues. My first meet competing with Will as my coach I was a little nervous. It was my first meet after I had competed at AO Finals, and I wanted to show him what I could do on the competition platform. Snatch warm ups in the back weren't perfect, but he assured me it would be different out on the platform. No judgement - just encouraging words. I ended up going six for six that day and PR'd my competition clean and jerk. My last attempt, a few ladies had taken the same weight and missed. Before I went out, Will said to me, "They want to see this lift. Make it happen!" His words fired me up and gave me a boost of confidence - the lift wasn't perfect, but I fought hard for that last attempt. It was the most satisfying feeling I had ever felt knowing I gave it my all. After that, I knew Will had my back. His confidence in my abilities helped me realize that I'm not crazy, and that my goals as a weightlifter are achievable if I put in the work.
I have learned a lot from Will not only for my lifting, but for my coaching as well. I've always been a nerd about Olympic Weightlifting, but I've become more of a student of weightlifting rather than just a fan and enthusiast.
The care and thought that goes into Will's programming is also reflected at the gym. I don't get to drop into SAA often, but when I do it is always a positive and productive atmosphere. Everyone I've met has always been inviting and engaging. We can still have fun and get the work done.
I think one of the biggest things I love about working with Will and SAA, is that there is passion and enthusiasm behind it all. I always look forward to my lifting days to find out what different things I get to try and do, and I usually learn something new about lifting or even myself through those movements. Working with Will has helped me see more possibilities, and I'm excited to see where the rest of our journey goes.