The Snatch Is Coming to FHSAA Weightlifting

In FHSAA the Sport has traditionally been centered around two lifts, the Bench Press and Clean & Jerk.  To most Olympic Weightlifting or Powerlifting purists this is seen as an odd mix, steering away from the Big Three in Powerlifting  (Squat, Bench Press, & Deadlift) and the Classic Lifts in Olympic Weightlifting (Snatch and Clean & Jerk).  If we look at the history of the sport in Fl it’s used mainly as an offseason Incentive to keep Football players training.



Currently, the sports of both Olympic  Weightlifting and Powerlifting have grown exponentially with more opportunities for coaching, participation, and even some college scholarship opportunities.  This growth has revived a movement to include the Snatch lift in the sport and eventually to remove the Bench Press from the competition.


In the 2020/2021 Season, the Snatch lift will be included as an optional extra lift in the FHSAA State Championship Competition. FHSAA has hypothesized that many of the high-level athletes will be training offseason with experienced and qualified Olympic Weightlifting Coaches and will be able to safely and effectively perform the Snatch.  


The thought is that this will show many of the FHSAA coaches that the Snatch can be taught and performed correctly by these athletes, and will open the eyes of coaches who are resistant to include and participate in the Snatch.  Eventually, it will be contested at all levels of competition.


The change is happening and the Snatch is coming to FHSAA and I think it’s imperative for participants to begin training for the inclusion immediately.  


Given incoming freshman train the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, & Bench Press for 4 years, they will leave high school with a solid foundation in strength and likely technical efficiency with these movements.  Setting these athletes up for post-high school athletic careers, possible scholarships, and opportunities to compete in National and International Championship events. 


So now we’re left with a few questions.


How does an athlete learn the Snatch?


How do they incorporate the Snatch into their in-season & off-season training?


Will athletes get hurt learning to Snatch?


How do Coaches learn to teach the Snatch?


Many of these questions can be answered by saying “find a coach” USAWeightlifting has a Coach Directory page on their website.  If you are an athlete, I would recommend looking for a Level-2 Coach or National Level Coach, I don’t want to discredit USAW Level-1 coaches but it does distinguish a Coach who has produced higher level athletes and will likely have more experience.  Reach out to them, ask them about their experience and see if it’s a good fit, tell them your goals, and about your own experiences as well.  A good Coach will want to work in conjunction with your FHSAA season and existing training program.


For coaches, the same applies, find a Coach who would be willing to share some time to help you learn how to effectively teach the lifts.  Many Coaches will volunteer their time, energy, and space to help athletes and other coaches.  This creates an opportunity for both coaches to collaborate and help each other grow their programs.  

USAW Club Directory 

USAW Coach  Directory

Personally I volunteered with a local High School and it was not only a fun rewarding experience, but a few athletes also ended up joining my club and now participate in both sports.  The athletes are excited about competing in both and have a leg up on the competition due to training in the FHSAA offseason.  


The Snatch is coming to FHSAA and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities it will create for athletes, clubs, and coaches. 


I advise Coaches of both sports to work together with their local schools and USAWeightlifting affiliated clubs, and for athletes to seek out a USAW Club/Coach to learn the fundamentals of the Snatch. 


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See you on the platform


Carl Penney

El Cid Fitness Director of Operations
Palm Beach Weightlifting Head Coach
Florida Weightlifting Federation Board – At Large Representative