This Coaches Corner features USAW National Coach Darren Hansen of Hansen BBC in Pocatello, Idaho.
Describe your history in weightlifting. How long have you been coaching? Do you also participate as an athlete?
I have been coaching Weightlifting for the past 5 years. I began while in college due to the unique opportunity I had to create and run a strength and conditioning program for Utah State University. Within these walls many became interested in the Olympic Lifts and at the time I was competing in numerous national competitions (Senior nationals, American Open, & University Nationals.) Many had their interests sparked because they had seen me train as well as heard about the competitions I was traveling to.
I had the opportunity early in my career to develop & coach a very talented youth athlete and after receiving a handful of national medals we were invited to spend two weeks at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs at an athlete/coach development camp. I had the opportunity to learn and share ideas with the Olympic programs head coaches as well as many of the best coaches around the country.
The club continued to grow during this time and many athletes around me decided to take a leap into Weightlifting full time. From this group we now have 6 athletes at a national caliber locally as well as others around the country that I work with remotely. There are many more right on the cusp of getting qualified as well! I was fortunate enough to achieve the level of USAW National Coach with International Coach on the list of goals.
Our team is young and vibrant and enjoys competing frequently and having a good time is important to our process.
What do you enjoy most about coaching? Explain your remote coaching and programming.
Helping others. I coach a wide array of clients and my Weightlifters are a small portion of them, but I genuinely like to help and have found myself to be effective when it comes to fitness and strength. I also believe being healthy and strong helps with living a happy life in general and think everyone can benefit from it. I am a movement nerd. I graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and Human Kinesiology. I LOVE how the body works together and accessing movement patterns. To keep it brief, the smallest variance or imbalance can throw off the entire movement process and find myself in a small group of coaches that look at their clients and movements the same as I do. I would love in the future to be a coach that people come to from all over to fix their movement patterns.
I run an entire training platform of 60+ athletes online. My software includes daily workout emails, video demonstrations, direct access to me as a coach for questions and feedback, and video analysis. All of these features have been packed into a very fluent and smooth app that I use that provides an unbelievable amount of value and helps me coach and have a positive influence on athletes I may have not been able to reach otherwise. For example, I have clients ranging from Mexico to Dubai… how cool is that? I work with weightlifters, moms, weight-loss clients, crossfitters, bodybuilders, field athletes, military… etc. You name it and I probably work with someone that fits in that category. There is more information on the programs available on my website HansenAthletics.com
How many athletes do you train? What’s your weekly routine with them?
With my online clients and physical location, I would estimate around 70 athletes. This is dynamic because I have some I never see and some I see every day! Those that come to my physical location I only offer 1 on 1’s or small group (no more than three.) The training sessions are very personalized and the amount of coaching they receive is intense.
What’s your favorite city and/or country that you’ve traveled to for competition?
Gainesville Florida for University Nationals. They had the competition in the basketball stadium which was a unique experience. They also had their spring football game that same weekend so I was able to coach and then walk over and watch football. Nothing better.
How would you describe your coaching style? How do you approach the task of motivating others?
Intense and positive. I try to make my athletes smile as well but can be stern when needed. I think coaching is dynamic and each athlete needs a different response or emotion at different times. You can’t be stagnant and one way all the time.
Motivating is also hard to pin down… everyone is driven by different factors or goals. You have to pinpoint what that goal is and use that to your advantage.
What are your plans and goals for your life in weightlifting? How do you see your future in the sport? Do you plan to stay involved in weightlifting for many years?
Continue to grow my team to one of the largest and most competitive clubs in the country and become a senior international coach. Yes, I will stay involved for the remainder of my life.
Who are some of your major influences? Who are the people you want to thank?
Debbie Carol, Brad Thorne, Jimmy Duke, and various other coaches around the country. There has been a lot of help and support from too many people to name. I was influenced early by the energy of California Strength and their lifters.
I want to thank my parents, family, and girlfriend. They are my biggest supporters. As well as my athletes for trusting in me and choosing me to be their coach. They are the reason I am where I am at today.
What advice would you give to athletes that are interested in trying out weightlifting?
Enjoy the process and expect to commit 5+ years to become fluent in the movements. Take it slow and don’t rush. Doing things right in the beginning will make the process much smoother and gratifying. HAVE FUN
What do you see as some of the major benefits of weightlifting?
Physically there are many benefits, but I’d rather talk about the mental. Weightlifters tend to be the toughest mentally in the group and believe in themselves… you really don’t have any other option in this sport. I’ve seen many of my athletes develop into much stronger and capable people throughout my career.
Did you ever participate in or coach any other sports?
I LOVE and play all sports recreationally. I played Football, Basketball, Track and Field, and Golf in high school. I currently play Volleyball, Golf, and Tennis as much as possible.
I coached Highschool Football and also ran their strength and conditioning program at Logan High. I also ran the strength and conditioning program for the lacrosse clubs & baseball teams at Utah State.
Anything else you would like to share?
Too much to share! I like to Podcast so if anyone is interested in doing so lets link up!