By Jake Sterny, Head Coach, Valhalla Barbell Club


This article is the first in a long of many that will make up the Salty Coach User Guide. In your opinion you’ve been having a pretty good training session. You showed up on time. You’ve made most of your lifts (more than usual). You haven’t even had to ask Coach about your programming today because you understand it. You’re having the best day you’ve had in weeks, but, why is Coach still so damn salty?


The Salty Coach and Coffee…


In the land of weightlifting coaches there is but one thing that brings us joy. That delicious cup of black, bitter goodness that makes us all human upon its consumption. Yes…I’m talking about coffee. Weightlifting coaches run on this stuff and on days where they haven’t had any it is probably better if you don’t ask them to demonstrate the same exercise they have demonstrated for you every day for the past six weeks. Treat this situation much like you would a hostage negotiation and keep your distance. Doing so will save the lives of you and your teammates.


The Salty Coach and Other Coaches


If it is one thing that sets weightlifting coaches off more than any other it is other weightlifting coaches. Okay we all have respect for each other and hell some of us even like each other, but, for some reason weightlifting coaches are always right and this fact must be made known to everyone. If your coach is salty because of this it is because their mortal enemy has made a claim that, “Triple Extension is the secret to lifting heavier”, and they must defend their honor. Probably best not to ask them if they really intended on giving you 10 x 10 Back Squats, 4 days in a row. Wait until they have calmed down to plead your case.


The Salty Coaches and You


That’s right. All we want for you to do is succeed. We are in the business of making a weightlifter out of you and all we want you to do is listen. The fact that you need to be reminded 24/7 of the same cue that coach has given to you on a broken record level of frequency is a sure fire way to make Coach 3 feet shorter and give him gray hair. The best way to approach this situation is to be sure you understand what Coach is telling you and not immediately forget what they’ve said as soon as they go across the room to yell at someone else. Listen, be coachable and actually do what Coach says to do.


The Salty Coach and Nostalgia


Most weightlifting coaches (most good one’s anyway) were never good enough to make it on a National Team or compete at the World Championships so they deal with this fact every day. This definitely doesn’t short change their ability to coach. When they see talent in you, however, and you are in the corner snorting BANG energy drinks after showing up 45 minutes late, we might not find your dead body for several days. Squandering what us coaches see in you is the number one way to “make coach mad” and ensure that you and your teammates will be doing heavy pulls until your legs fall off. Take this sport seriously because only two people know what  you could become and they are the weightlifting coach who used to snatch 130kg and your high school quarterback (who still has on his Varsity Jacket while he drinks himself into oblivion).


Salty Coach to Come


This is only the first in a long line of installments on what can make coach salty. I intend on turning this into a full blown series on how to handle the Salty Coach. Initially we are in the beginner stages on how to deal with the salty coach. Coming soon we will extend into more reasons why coach is salty! 

For more content or to listen to the Salty Coach, our weekly podcast discussing salty coaching, click here to listen!

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