Sunday, February 15, 2009
We are community of seekers. We read esoteric lifting blogs, we argue about lifting-shoe heel heights, and the best place to rest the bar on the shoulders in the backsquat. Our athletes attend Olympic lifting seminars and many of our regulars hold Level 1 Crossfit certifications. Some of our fire breathers have been training with us for years and know a bloody ton about increasing work capacity. They can tell you why raising your butt too fast on the first pull will cause you to miss forward. They can tell you that turning out your feet a little on the set up will help you transition to a faster second pull (it is the new black).
We are well versed, well coached, sophisticated, proletariat Crossfitters. Dammit.
And the further down the path we travel towards a physical culture that has near open access to Coaches like Glassman, Berg, Rip, and Starr, the more we can't forget to pay attention to the big detail, big picture issues of technique.
Ok, here's a pop quiz hotshot. What did you notice first about the technique of the lifter in the photo above? I bet you can name at least three things you would have her do to improve that power snatch. You technicrat you.
Was keeping your eyes open while lifting one of the things you would mention?
Notice that this same athlete makes the same error in the photo below.
When selecting appropriate cues to improve an athlete's performance, don't get caught up in the small stuff. Go for the low hanging fruit. Does having a technical understanding of the lifts matter? Of course, but don't forget to coach. See the athlete as a whole. Try and notice the small stuff and the big stuff, at the same time. Continue to pick off the obvious stuff before you delve into the miniature. There is a story around about Coach Rip answering questions about someone's deadlift.
The athlete was asking overly technical questions about his inability to lock out a big weight. Rip is reported to have said something like: "Sometimes you just have too much weight on the bar."
There is zen saying about simplicity:
Draw bamboos for ten years, become a bamboo, then forget all about bamboos when you are drawing.
The capacity to do so is why there is a difference between coaches and trainers.
Strive for Coachdom.
at 4:49 PM