In our first post of the new year I wanted to take a look back at the year we had at PFP Barbell. We went through a lot of growth and changes last year. From coaching changes, joining East Coast Gold, and holding our first weightlifting meet the gym and team transformed and was filled with a bunch of firsts in the past year.
East Coast Gold
This year started with Head Coach , Tom Duer, joining ECG as an athlete under the coaching of Phil Sabatini and Brenden McDaniel . Soon after our entire team was invited to be a satellite location for the East Coast Gold team . This has given our team and coaches access to the best coaching in the USA and we have reaped the benefits ....big time. From Programming to meet management we have taken massive strides as coaches and athletes this year .
We have also been given the opportunity to attend a few ECG Camps this year to get to work with the ECG Coaches in person. I always leave beaming with pride from all of the positive feedback we receive about how our athletes lift and more importantly carry themselves as people .
Joining ECG has also given our athletes a higher level to strive to as when they qualify for nationals they join the ECG National team and qualify for performance incentives and bonuses . We have not qualified any athletes yet, but I am certain we will have a handful of athletes on the team in 2019.
PFP Barbell participated in multiple meets throughout the year and again helped multiple athletes compete in their first weightlifting meets. Our first time competitors ranged from 11 years old to over 50. We also took our team to two USAW American Open Series meets last year. We went from coaching 1 athlete at the AO series in 2017 to coaching over 50 sessions as a staff at the Series this year. We also helped coach many East Coast Gold athletes to Medals and Records at the AO2 as we served on the ECG coaching staff for that event.
Laura Woodward, Andre Ainsworth , Tonja Ayala and Brandi Darby became the first PFP Barbell Athletes to Head Coach Tom Duer Competed at USAW Nationals and finished 7th in the 105+ category and at the American Open Final and Finished 5th in the newly formed 109kg weight class. Assistant Head Coach and resident lady boss Maggie Duer also made her competition comeback this year competing twice .
One of the coolest aspects of PFP Barbell is how much we have grown as a team in the back room of meets. Coaches Tom Duer, Maggie Duer , and Dom Gomez have helped develop a culture of success as new Barbell Coach Marisa Galli has taken on more responsibility taking the lead coaching athletes of her own . Gerald Hayes, Andre Ainsworth , Laura Woodward , and Bre Prinkey have been invaluable members of our team loading and helping with whatever our team needs during meets. I am looking forward to more growth and development from our awesome group.
PFP Liftmas Open
We hosted our first meet ever in December. 35 athletes competed including a handful of our own athletes. Running a sanctioned meet for the first time, I was not sure what to expect . It ended up running really smoothly thanks to the PFP Barbell crew and with help from our friends over at Relentless Barbell. This was our first , but definitely not the last. I am excited to host 2 or 3 more meets in 2019 !
As I am the head coach of PFP Barbell and an athlete for the East Coast Gold Weightlifting National team, I have two big roles. One as a coach and the other as an athlete.
As a coach , I am thrilled with our development as a team in 2018. We completely revamped how we program and approach training. Our meet management has improved and we have improved each meet with how we take care of our athletes. I say we , because if it doesn't matter if I personally improve if It doesn't spread to our entire coaching staff. Overall our development as coaches has exceeded my expectations and I am looking forward to our growth in 2019.
As an athlete I had my best year so far. I added 19kg to my competition total 318-337kg . This year I competed in the AO1 ( 325kg total 5th ), USAW Nationals (333kg 7th) , ECG Fall Brawl ( 337kg 1st) , USAW AO Final (328kg 5th) . In the AO final I was one lift away from my first National Medals . There is lots to build on from here and I expect to carry the momentum into 2019 and bring some hardware back for PFP and ECG in both national meets this year.
In 2019 I expect PFP to continue to grow and develop. At year end we had 32 barbell members , this year I expect that number to grow to 50+. We should have 4-6 national qualifiers by AO finals time. As I write this we found out yesterday that Laura Woodward became our first athlete to qualify for Senior Nationals . She should be joined by a handful of her peers by years end . Overall I expect our team to continue to work hard, grow , and support each other. I am not sure exactly what 2019 will bring , but with our team , the sky is the limit.
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Coaches and Athletes will be contributing to this blog. We will be discussing lifting tips, smashing goals, and much more.