Wow, what a weekend. Almost four years since I was first introduced to the IKFF family and community a couple of weekends ago I had the great pleasure of hosting Glasgow’s first IKFF Certified Kettlebell Teachers Course in my own facility.
To say I was honoured was an understatement and I really couldn’t have asked for things to have gone better. From kitting out the gym, Rannoch getting lost with Steve on the way and sending out an SOS to rescue him, every single candidate passing the initial fitness test first time, having the privilege of catching up with old and meeting new friends to having the satisfaction of coaching and assisting six of our very own DMC students through the certification. As I said, what a weekend!
Read how I got into Kettlebells in the first place here.
Being the first certification in Glasgow I felt truly privileged to host Steve, the IKFF and all the course students for the two day event. My crew had worked hard on ensuring the gym was ready and fit for purpose for the big day but even more so worked harder with every one of our students who were attending the cert.
Blisters were had, hands were torn but every one gave it their all to ensure they got the most out of the two days and for that I am very grateful.
For the majority of my crew this was the third CKT level one course we had attended in the last four years and I am sure they will all agree by far the best. Like a mature wine these really do get better with age.
Steve Cotter is a master of his trade. He moves with the skill and grace of a ballerina dancing with his kettlebell, he even makes the 36kg looks easy in the drills and his reality checks on how you get there make complete sense.
‘For every person you see competing a set with the 32kg kettlebells you don’t see the thousands of reps they do beforehand using the 16’s and 20kg’s’ Steve Cotter.
To summarise Steve in relation to teaching ability it would be none other than world class. From the way he explains the technical aspect and application of each movement, to the flow of the drill and the final execution of the exercise. Watching him move, demo and teach is a truly marvellous experience.
Day one focussed on the correct application of warm up followed by the ‘dreaded fitness test’, single arm swing, clean, press, push press and cool down. The fitness test happened first after a good warm up. The crew and I as already certified CKT’s were asked to help assess and I have to commend them for taking to this with their usual commitment and drive to ensure everyone succeeded taking on the role of coach and driving everyone through every rep.
Well Done guys you make me very proud. Congratulations to every new CKT candidate on passing – Steve said that this is the first time where all candidates have passed first time in such a big group. We build them strong in Scotland!
After lunch we moved into more timed sets working on breathing and technical aspects of each movement. Every time I have the pleasure of being taught by Steve I leave with so much material to be worked on. The material he delivers has evolved so much since the first time I did CKT. The more experienced I have become the easier it has been to soak up the lessons he delivers, and the technique changes he advises us to adapt towards.
As a crew we have again left with so much more to work on, another reason why I jump at the opportunity to be there when he coaches. You never tire of what is being taught and always leave with a great deal to think about, practise and with time eventually master.
Day Two focussed on snatch, squats, programming, final workout and what had to be the biggest reaction breaker of the day ‘coaching sessions’.
After a morning of snatch and squats we all settled down to lunch thinking this afternoon would be a lesser passed event with a final push in the closing workout. You can imagine the surprise when after an initial skills test individually we were asked to feedback to the previous candidate on their last set.
Whilst this comes easy to many ‘coaches’, I take my hat off to the six DMC candidates. We had a nurse, engineer, IT consultant, events promoter, pharmaceutical technician, web developer and charity worker taking part. All with a strong passion for exercise and a drive to be and learn more who took to the challenge and I am proud to say safely held their own. Guys as your coach, friend and trainer you make me very proud.
26 people in total came to DMC HQ to take part in the 2 day cert, from Ray Wilsons’ students at Kettlebells Aberdeen to as far afield as Leo from Barcelona. I am proud to announce that all candidates passed and left with their certifications in hand.
On reflection the biggest lessons and most important thing I learnt over the two days was the importance of correct breathing and I picked up valuable technical points in the clean and the snatch.
I found this CKT to have a much deeper focus on technique and not just about athletic performance. We smashed some awesome sets and worked hard as we always do but most importantly I came away with so many things I can work on, how I can adapt the technical aspects of my lifting and I am excited about the practice that lies ahead.
So for me as a coach and member of IKFF I was honoured and humbled to play host for the 2 day event and it was made extra special as I introduced my students to join me on my IKFF journey. This will take their training to a whole new level. The training for the months leading up to the course, passing the challenging fitness test, completing the weekend’s practical course work and finally passing all the modules will allow them to put it all into practice. I am honoured to be part of your journey and watch you all grow.
As I said ‘wow’ what a weekend.
Great teacher, great coaches, strong group and awesome results for all involved. Well done everyone.