Amalia became my Olympic Lifting coach a little over a year ago. At that time I was working off programs from "The Science of Strength Training" (one of the bibles of weightlifting) and one out of a book written by the head Strength and Speed Coach of a major university whom I'd personally interacted with and had the opportunity to train alongside world class athletes, both pre and post graduation. However after months of training on my own, I had plateaued, getting frustrating and discouraged, and getting sloppy in the process. In short, I didn't know what my problems were nor how to fix them.
Immediately she noticed the sloppy/lazy habits I'd regressed into without supervision, subsequently preventing me from any further advancement. As such, she constantly varied my workouts, quick to demonstrate the corrective action and patient with me when I didn't get it right away. She also stood by calmly when I questioned/challenged the reasoning behind every new idea presented to me. Let me emphasize that this is hardly an easy task.
Yet without her guidence, I never would've entered the Texas State Weightlifting Championships (my first Olympic Lifting competition ever) in Jan. 2009, and as such, would never have gotten second place in my weight class. In less than a year of working with her I've increased my Snatch 15kg (33lbs) and my Clean and Jerk 10kg (22lbs). My Jerk has gone from 105kg to 120kg (231lbs to 264lbs), my Front Squat from 105kg to 120kg, Clean pull from 105kg to 135kg, Snatch pull from 90kg to 105kg. Since working with Amalia, I've noticed a few unique things. First, she genuinely cares about the successful goal attainment of her clients, however big or small they may be. Whether it's being able to do a single pull up or getting someone to a nationally competitive level, she'll be just as excited for either one. Good coaches know that getting their client to a point they never thought possible is all that matters, and it's the steps (mini-goals) along the way that provide that personal satisfaction. From my experience, every lift I do under her supervision becomes her lift, and as such she commits the same emotional investment in each one.
Second, she puts thought into each individual program she creates. The weight, %'s, and volume are all carefully calculated and tailored to that person and their goal set. One of the first things I noticed was that my schedule wasn't based off a mindless computer program. She takes injury (past or present), weakness in certain areas, and athletic ability into consideration when creating them. If I was buying a suit, my ability would be the roll of fabric and she the bespoke tailor. Not only has she increased the Olympic Lifting community several fold since I started lifting at the gym, she's making quite a name for herself as a national competitor as well.
Update 6/15/10: After another 6 months of training, he'd added another 5kg to his snatch (20kg increase/100kg Snatch) and another 5kg to his Front Squat (125kg).*