Mississippi Barbell’s Youth Impact
In order to do so our nonprofit has generated youth programs to get children active and involved in olympic weightlifting. Some Youth train weightlifting as their main sport or use it to compliment their other activities like cheerleading, baseball, football, and volleyball.
In addition to working with athletes on their sports performance, Mississippi Barbell has also produced and developed numerous Youth & Junior national level weightlifting athletes.
What Makes The Mississippi Barbell Youth Program Different
Smith and Sheppard are the highest ranking USAW coaches in Mississippi & as such it is their number one priority to make sure youth athletes from ages 6 and up learn the lifts in a safe and healthy environment.
Our coaches have years of experience training youth and special populations. Tyler is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Coach Amber Sheppard has worked with special populations
Development is closely monitored and looks different from adult counterparts
Youths learn skills like speed, agility, and balance that are necessary to perform the lifts correctly before being allowed to do the olympic lifts
Youth athletes must go through progressions and their form is heavily monitored before they advance in their programming
3 rep "maxes" are encouraged as opposed to having the children find one rep maxes and lifting very heavy until they have learned proper form and technique
Every child receives a training log to keep up with after they have completed two months of consecutive training. They will learn also learn math skills because they must count their own weight on their bars (don't worry, we check their math for them too)
Our Barbell coaches encourage our Youth to help us "coach". They watch their peers with us and tell us what they see
Our Junior and Senior athletes help mentor our younger athletes
In 2014 Mississippi Barbell partnered with local nonprofit Methodist Children’s Home of Mississippi to start a youth weightlifting program on their campus. MCH is the home of over 50 at-risk youth in the state’s care. After being supported & having the gym outfitted by Eleiko, Coach Smith & Coach Sheppard developed a youth program designed to generate not only future weightlifters but future leaders of Mississippi. Children between the ages of 12-18 came weekly to learn the snatch, clean and jerk: movements they would have never been exposed to in their previous environments. The children who attended the program have become more focused and look forward to their sessions.
Involvement With Local Middle Schools, High Schools, and Universities
Mississippi Barbell travels to gyms and schools around the region conducting seminars for Coaches and their athletes in an effort to promote safe and effective movements for athletes. The seminars help athletes move better & understand the origin of weightlifting as a sport within itself.
We bring Youth and Junior lifters from the team and allow them to help with the seminars as well. They help them coach and correct athletes and are used in demonstrations. By seeing other people move and learning how to effectively communicate with diverse groups of people these lifters become better athletes and in the long run, better coaches and leaders.
All proceeds generated from seminars and clinics go towards travel expenses for Mississippi Barbell athletes who range from youth to masters. Donations and fees also go towards promoting the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the state.