what are we looking at?
when i teach athletes how to lift, i always start with what the athlete is looking at - which is straight ahead. head and eyes looking straight ahead.
where the head goes, the body will follow.
if we don't start off with this good foundation, it could throw off the rest of the lift. (ask me how i know. answer: cause in the past i've tried to skip teaching this and it screwed me. lol)
it's best to stare at a point that is about parallel to where the eyes are, so in this case, Trevor would be looking at a point about a foot higher than me because, well, i'm a shorty =p... and it's important to stare at this point for entirety of the lift: just before the lift starts, throughout the lift, standing up with the lift, and then after the bar drops look away.
coaching tip: i could just tell him to look head and eyes straight ahead, so why am i standing in front of him and invading his personal space?
first of all, we've developed a trust and a rapport so i feel like...
mastering the positions will lead to PRs.
Everyone wants yank the bar off the ground for their snatch or clean and jerk from day one. I can't say that I blame them, I mean the lifts are pretty sexy - lol. But in order to be able to lift heavy weight and what you're capable of - it's important to learn and understand all the different positions - from both a mental and a physical level - to know mentally what the positions are but physically be able to know them as well.
There is so much going on in a snatch and in a clean and jerk, and every split second the body is in a similar but completely different position.
Take the time to learn and cement in each of these positions. It will pay dividends later down the road
Less than a minute but a lot of information in this video.
First off, again, the push press being similar to the dip and drive of the high hang snatch / clean.
Second, that oftentimes a lot of athletes, in their attempt and desire to generate momentum and power for their lifts, will cock their hips back and hip check the bar forward like they would for a kettlebell swing.
While this does generate momentum, it unfortunately sends the bar forward, away from the lifter, instead of up - so now the athlete has to chase the bar forward and doesn't have as much room to get under the bar.
Stand up straight, have good positioning, dip and drive / jump up and back, then get under the bar.
sometimes you/your athlete just has this mental brain fart thing.
that usually means that the nervous system is approaching overload or has overloaded.
one thing you can do to give you some space, or some working room, is something so far away from lifting.
talk about or do something that forces the athlete to engage and think but about something that is very much not weightlifting.
so in this case movies. what is your favorite movie? other questions i like are - where are you from? what is your favorite food? who is your favorite actor? where do you get good tacos/bbq/sushi around here? things like that.
coaches play with that little life hack. see how far it takes you.
feel like you need just a little bit more height when you're going for those heavy lifts?
once the athlete establishes good positioning, good tempo, and a good jump up and back, and i see that they missed the lift by a little bit - the next step is to make sure they are continuing to give vertical momentum on the bar via a big shrug and a big high pull.
notice the difference between jonathan's first and second lift.
he missed the first, and the only thing he changed to make the second lift was to add this aggressive shrug and pull. and all of a sudden he made the lift - the same weight - with lots of room to spare.
and it was beautiful! a beautiful form, heavy weight, a beautiful lift.
happy athlete, happy coach, happy everyone all around
Critical as this is the place where you will be supporting all the weight that you want to be snatching.
For example, if you want to be snatching 250lbs, you need to and you better be able to support 250obs overhead.
As always, head and eyes straight ahead, big chest tight back, core right, elbows externally rotated (rotated to the ceiling) and you want to stack the bones - you want the barbell (from a vertical perspective) over the wrist, over the elbow, over the shoulder, over the hips, over the knees, over the ankles.
As you can see, bringing the barbell back just an inch - when I provide a little bit of tension, right away the athlete knows this is not strong.
When the bar is brought an inch forward of proper position - the same holds true.
But when the bar is behind the head, and is in a "stacked" position - I provide a lot of force and the athlete supports it with seemingly no effort.
So - get your overhead position correct and lift big weights! =D
where should the weight be when you start the lift?
especially when doing barbell cycling, a lot of lifters will start the lift with the weight on their heels because it's a passive position - they can rest here and not have to bear the weight of the load they are carrying.
unfortunately, it isn't a strong position to move from, and therefore is not a strong position to lift from.
so where do you want the weight? you want the weight midfoot/ball of your foot. the same place it would be if you were to jump. feel solid there, look straight ahead, tighten your core, and from here... lift
Good rules for being a good coach and for being a good person from one of the best coaches ever.
In life, in lifting, and in coaching, there are shortcuts that you can take, times where you can choose to turn a blind eye because we're lazy or scared to do the right thing.
I play for the long game. Set up the foundations and basics now so that we can build upon them later on. In life, I choose to do the right thing because it's what I would want done for me and because it helps bring peace to my heart and soul - it helps me sleep at night.
In terms of doing the best we can - fortunately or unfortunately, we don't come in with all the answers. I know I'm a good coach but I also know that I don't know everything.
Also each athlete is different, so what works for one athlete may not work for another - so in that sense, it's like starting fresh each time. The only thing I can do, and the only thing I ask my athletes to do, is to do my best and for them to do their best.
For the lifters...
As an olympic lifting coach, these are two things that I am very passionate about and interested in...
The triple extension because that's what helps athletes lift the most weight that they are capable of and tactile feedback because it tells the athletes what's going on.... Helps them feel right vs wrong, good vs bad.
A lot of athletes struggle with getting triple extension because they have the habit of rushing under the bar before they get there, so here's one of my favorite games (because they all swear to me that they're getting triple extension when I see that they're not). I place an object, or in this case a Craig's hand, a little up and behind the athlete. I then ask the athlete to perform the movement, even asking the athlete to hit the object (in this case the hand) before getting under the bar. You hit the object, you win - triple extension. You don't hit it, no triple extension. You don't have to believe me when I tell you that...
Oftentimes this gets blown over but important to establish this before snatching - before even overhead squatting really...
Here I have Noble feel the difference between non-optimal and strong positioning. I do this by bringing the barbell back, and then forward, a little bit and tugging not very hard on the bar so that he can feel that with me not tugging very hard that he is in a compromised position. Then I position the barbell in the optimal/strong position and pull hard on the bar - it's easy for Noble to feel how strong and stable he is with very little effort - even when I'm providing 10x the tension.
So what is a strong position? A strong position is when the barbell is stacked over the bones - the bones being the wrist, the shoulder, the hips, the knees, and the ankles - so that if you were to see the athlete from the side, it would be a straight line from the barbell down the side of the body. This way the skeletal structure of the athlete is supporting the barbell.