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 workforce she coaches.



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

Now, Coach Edna is a frontrunner 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 at present coaches the American Muscle powerlifting workforce 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 turn out to be a referee or official.

As a mother or father, coach or fan, all of it comes again to the athletes as opponents and people in accordance Coach Edna.

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

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 workforce member discover ways to strategy 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 provides them a powerful base for stability.” However for bench presses, she has them tuck their toes underneath the bench a bit as a result of “the intuition is to push up by way of your toes even if you’re laying down. That’s a great factor.” Elbow and extension angles are additionally important.

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

Coach Edna says anybody thinking about turning into a Particular Olympics coach ought to know that the athletes are wanting to be taught. “Meet them the place they’re and ensure they depart with a smile.” Robyn Armando, Vice President Advertising and marketing & Group Engagement, says Coach Edna’s strategy is far appreciated. “She is a staple within the SONY group. She makes use of powerful love, however she adores each one among 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.