Cuban System of Training

Cuban Youth System

I had the privilege of speaking with a top School Age & Junior Cuban Coach Ramon Lopez the other day and was able to ask questions about how the Cubans are developing their young talent.  Many people have written about the Cuban System at the Elite Level but not much is told of how they introduce their athletes into the sport of Weightlifting.  Coach Lopez described how the Cubans first initiate an extensive talent identification search for their athletes.  Once identified athletes were then sent to special sports schools dedicated to the improvement of sports skills and physical fitness.  Students were selected as young as 12 years old and in some cases younger.  12 years old was an ideal age to start the athletic process because after four years of training the coaches would be able to determine by 16 whether or not the athlete would have the necessary skills to be an elite level athlete.

Technique & General Physical Preparation

Like most foreign countries that I have come to study, technique and general physical preparation must be established first.  Coach Lopez suggests like many coaches, myself included, once the foundation of technique has been established good or bad it is hard to go back and change.  He also believes that he rather work with an athlete that has good technique but is a little on the weak side then with someone whom is very strong and powerful but lacking in technical proficiency.  Strength can be attained faster then correcting major technical flaws in his opinion.

Many American Coaches have come to understand that General Physical Preparation to simply mean high volume low intensity conditioning drills.  The mind set is volume, volume, and more volume.  Increase the athletes work capacity to handle the next phase of training.  Coach Lopez says this is an important factor but what is missed is picking exercises to improve the athletes general and specific athleticism.  Coordination and Balancing drills must also be addressed at the early developmental stage for 1) talent identify the better athletes and 2) to increase the kinesthetic awareness of the athlete through space and time.  This is overlooked in many general prep phases of programing.  Coaches assume these skills are either inherently learned or they will be picked up with more specific training skills.  Coach Lopez feels they must be learned earlier on.  This reminds me of a conversation that I had with US National Weightlifting Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz whom suggested the very similar thing.  It is not surprising that both the Polish and Cuban system have established their foundation from the former Soviet System of Weightlifting Training.

I will keep writing thoughts on the Cuban System in a series of installments.

Basketball Preseason Training Starts Now!

Basketball Players need Strength Training to help dominate the courts. Explosive Training will increase your vertical and first step take off.  Agility and Speed Training will improve your ball handling ability.  Let Performance One take your Basketball Game to the next level. Basketball Groups starting every Monday! Call to get in 480-813-5477

Tuesday Aug 30th Starts the first day of the Fall Semester at Estrella Mountain Community College

PED 124 & 125 Strength & Conditioning for Sports Performance kicks off the 2011 Fall semester on Tuesday August 30th, 2011.  We have 21 students on the roster this fall.  It is one of my biggest classes to date since joining Estrella Mountain.  The class will teach the fundamentals in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and proper Squatting Technique.  We will cover Agility Training, Plyometrics, and Assistance Strength and Therapy Exercises.  The class meets two times a week for one hour and fifty five minutes.  For more information go to:

Performance One Lifter Collin Ito places 10th at World University Games

Collin Ito Snatched 146, 152x, 152 Clean & Jerked 197, 206, 211x (New Collegiate American Record Attempt) Total 358 PR at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Great job Collin! 6 kilo improvement in the total since Nationals.  Up next the American Open Championships in Birmingham, Alabama this December.

Top athletes head off to College this Fall!

Beginning of a new Fall Season. Sad to see one of our Top Softball girls leave to go to college but she will tear it up next season. We have girls that will be playing in the Big Ten, SEC, and Big East this year coming year. Congrats ladies for all the hard work you put in now go kick some college butt!

Olympic Weightlifting Course at Mesa Community College for Fall 2011

There are 3 spots still left for PED 133 Olympic Weightlifting at Mesa Community College. This class is a late start class starting Wed Sept 7th.  It meets Mon, Wed, & Fri from 1-1:50 pm. The Class number is 27644. Olympic Weightlifting is great for beginner lifters, coaches, Crossfitters, and strength & conditioning athletes.  Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the Nations top Weightlifting Coach, Joe Micela.

Coach Micela to hold another USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coaching Coarse

USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coaching Coarse Oct 8th & 9th, 2011 at Performance One Advanced Sports Training. If you want to get certified in the Olympic Lifts here you go. 3x National Champion Sarah Robles along with 2011 World University Team Member Collin Ito will be assisting with the course. Contact USA Weightlifting or Coach Joe Micela for more information. L