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Importance of Evaluation in Olympic Weightlifting

Importance of Evaluation in Olympic Weightlifting

Evaluation is an essential ingredient of modern coaching methods. By assessing the demands of Olympic weightlifting and the status of the weightlifter relative to these demands, the specific progressive programme of training may be constructed for the athletes. This is achieved by applying knowledge gained from ongoing system of evaluation. The well designed system of training helps in planning and good performance.

Training programmes must be planned to meet the stressors of athlete’s life style. The coach must firstly evaluate the demands of weightlifting training program, then athlete’s capacity to adapt to these demands. A programme of training may be planed to improve that capacity. It should be emphasised that evaluation is essential to the athlete’s progress. We will try to deal with complex subject of evaluation in details. How ever a general guidance to evaluation is essential to the athlete’s progress in weightlifting.

Status Classification

The primary objectives of applying testing procedures are to establish the athlete’s status in the parameters measured. The classification of possible parameters is as follow:

General Parameters                                    Examples

* Anthropometric measures                            Height, body proportions percentage, thumb

length, middle finger length, knee size,

lean body mass , etc.

* Physical Condition                                      Strength, Mobility of arms and trunk, heal raise

shoulders shrug range, etc

* Physiological Capacities                             VO2 max,blood pressure, etc

* Psychological                                              Personality, mental strength, tenacity, etc

* Technical abilities                                        General motor abilities, etc

Specific Parameters

* Performance                                              Best performance, Snatch, Jerk, Back   Squats,

Front Squats, Power Snatch, Power Clean, etc

* Technical abilities                                      Technical solution to specific situations

* Technical Performance                             Technically sound to perform the lifts

The relationship of athlete and environment factors known to influence sport performance must be evaluated. Classification of environmental factors might be:

Finance:       financial assistance for sports equipment.

Nutrition:     dietary supplements, caloric intake, smoking.

Occupation:  student, laborer.

Social:          family, friendship, institution.

Training:      equipment, facilities, sauna, physiotherapy, swimming, massage.

Mass longitudinal screening techniques, or bioprofiles, assess the athlete’s status in all quantifiable parameters and environmental factors relevant to athletic performance. Such information married to the athlete if an exchange of information can be established between coach and researchers.

This measurement status is a simple statement of fact. The next step is to evaluate these facts by comparing current results of given test with the athlete’s previous performance with relevant norms or standard and with other athletes.

The evaluation may help the coach to reach important conclusion or decisions in several areas. Measurement and evaluation may be used:

To Assess the Athlete’s Aptitude in Weightlifting

Testing procedures are not yet sufficiently sophisticated to assess this quality with scientific precision. However indices of aptitude may be derived from the collective evaluation of the following:

  • The status of athlete’s performance of the given technique with respect to existing norms according to age, sex, etc.
  • The athlete’s status in those capacities characteristic of weightlifting ( physiological, physical, anthropometric, etc
  • The technical status of athlete’s ability to perform with heavy weight.
  • The speed at which the athlete improve performance during the period of instruction.
  • The ability to reproduce consistently good performance (stability)

The most important condition for diagnosing aptitude is regular training and regularly participation in the competitions.

To Plan Athlete’s Developmental Programme

Only by exposing the athlete to a comprehensive battery of tests and comparing the athlete’s status with norms according to chronological age, developmental age, sex, etc will the coach to be fully equipped to set out a plan for the athlete’s development. The general scanning concept represented by the bioprofiles system discussed above should be applied here.

To Assess the Effects of Training Systems on Performance

The athlete’s status in those parameters which are to be develop (e.g. strength, speed, coordination in performing the snatch and clean & jerk, mobility) by training system is compared with performance in Olympic weightlifting. The results are also compared with previous results in the same testing situation. The contribution of the athlete’s status in each parameter to the performance I thereby assessed.

To Assess the Efficacy of Training Systems in Developing Specific Parameters

As the athlete works to develop strength, speed, coordination, etc., via various specific training units the athlete’s status must be monitored regularly. Evaluation of results will allow any necessary adjustment of loading within each training unit.

To Establish Homogeneous Groupings of Training

It is reasonable to group athletes according to physical capacities such as speed, strength, endurance, coordination and so on. Evaluation will enable the coach to form those groups to the best advantages of their members.

To Assess Knowledge of Weightlifting

The athlete must understand tactics, rules of the game, training principles and so on. Although it is not common place to test the athlete’s command of knowledge, it is important and may be seen as par of raining process.

To Establish the Characteristics Demands of Weightlifting

A detailed study of biomechanics, physiology, and psychology provides some insight into the demands of weightlifting. However by evaluating the status of successful lifter’s in physical, psychological, and other parameters, a more substantial link between athlete and sport can be established.

These are not ends in themselves, but a means of evaluating lifter’s status. In short testing procedures assist the coach to understand the lifter’s training status and its development and to make training programmes more efficient.

Notes on Testing and Testing

The coach must conduct testing sessions with care. Every testing procedure must be valid, reliable, and objective. The following points may help to achieve these aims:

  • A test should measure only one capacity/ability/factor.
  • Unless technique is being assessed, the test should not require technical competence on the part of the lifter.
  • There is a little purpose in duplicating tests within the same testing unit (testing the same parameter with different tests) unless the purpose of the testing session is to validate new methods of testing.
  • Each athlete in the test situation must understand exactly what is required, what is to be measured, and why it is being measured. At conclusion the results should be interpreted for the lifters.
  • The methods of conducting the test (administration, organization, environmental requirement) should be standardized. The standardization of procedure should be as strict as possible (e.g. constant venue, temperature, time of day, day of menstrual cycle (girls), degree of motivation, tester, previous nutrition, time allowed for warm up, nature of equipment, etc.).
  • The venue score cards, score board, equipment,  announcement system, weigh in room, rest room, warm up area, medical staff, and all other required items  should be prepared in advance of the tests.
  • The coach will find some knowledge of statistics, mathematics, and presentation of data gathered from the test graphically is very useful.
  • The complete evaluation process involves physiologist, physiotherapists, general practitioner,, psychologists, the coach and in some cases parents, other coaches and the lifters. The sum evaluation by this team should be documented and filed, but a record of tests conducted by the coach may also be kept in the athlete’s training diary.

Evaluation in the training process is a part and parcel of the whole training process. It leads to correct all the unnecessary units and also help to add new training units as per the requirement of the lifters. The positive edge of the evaluation tests in the training system is to provide a competitive environment to the lifters to become more familiar for the high ranked competitions. The test should be same like competition and match with the all requirements of an international competition. It can be more helpful in the development of high class athletes.


Khizer Hayat Raja

Sr. Lecturer in Physical Education & Sports

International Weightlifting Coach & Expert

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