Coach Edna on Weightlifting Bar Fundamentals

Coach Edna stands with ten athletes dressed in weightlifting uniforms holding up a sign that says American Muscle Powerlifting, Long Island, Special Olympics, New York.

Coach Edna, on the far proper, with the powerlifting crew she coaches.



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Coach Edna Fletcher is aware of in regards to the energy of sport firsthand from her days taking part in basketball. As a black feminine athlete, she has additionally felt the sting of exclusion. For instance, when she requested that extra sources, like weight coaching, be added to her basketball crew’s practices, she was laughed off the court docket.

Now, Coach Edna is a pacesetter within the inclusion motion utilizing her experiences, expertise and pursuits as a Particular Olympics New York (SONY) coach. Whichever sport her son Daniel participates in, Coach Edna coaches—that’s eight sports activities up to now! She presently coaches the American Muscle powerlifting crew that consists of three feminine athletes and 6 male ranging in age from 16 to 35. In some sports activities, basketball and powerlifting, she has continued her coaching to develop into a referee or official.

As a mum or dad, coach or fan, all of it comes again to the athletes as rivals and people in accordance Coach Edna.

“I stay by this motto: There is no such thing as a such factor as incapacity, moderately various levels of skills.”

Coach Edna Fletcher, Particular Olympics New York Coach

Coach Edna working with an athlete on squats.

Coach Edna working with an athlete on squats.

For Coach Edna, meaning starting with the fundamentals. As a SONY powerlifting coach, she helps every new crew member discover ways to method the bar. For the grip, she has them apply inserting the bar in the course of their palms earlier than greedy it tight. “The bar is central to the three powerlifting disciplines I coach: the squat, deadlift and bench press.” She feels that utilizing the 45-pound bar with out further weights is an effective way to construct approach and energy.

For the standing lifts like squats and deadlifts, she coaches athletes to face with their legs shoulder-width aside. “This offers them a powerful base for steadiness.” However for bench presses, she has them tuck their toes beneath the bench a bit as a result of “the intuition is to push up by your toes even in case you are laying down. That’s a very good factor.” Elbow and extension angles are additionally very important.

Coach Edna says there’s one other talent that has nothing to do with muscle mass. “Listening to and following the judges’ instructions takes apply. It can be crucial as a result of the Head Decide has a frontal view of the athlete and ensures that the correct weights have been loaded onto the bar accurately. Then they provide the command to raise.”

Coach Edna says anybody concerned with changing into a Particular Olympics coach ought to know that the athletes are desperate to be taught. “Meet them the place they’re and ensure they go away with a smile.” Robyn Armando, Vice President Advertising and marketing & Group Engagement, says Coach Edna’s method is way appreciated. “She is a staple within the SONY group. She makes use of powerful love, however she adores each one in every of her athletes and has the largest coronary heart.”

*Statistics from the Special Olympics 2021 Global Reach Report


Coaches educate the abilities, perspective, values and spirit that outline a real athlete. They’re function fashions and character-builders each on and off the sphere of play. Particular Olympics coaches go even additional—they assist athletes with mental disabilities to find their very own strengths and talents. They encourage them and problem them to construct upon these strengths and enhance each day.