Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Understanding the Olympic Lifts

So I was recently fowarded an email from one of my best friends who happens to be a head S&C coach at a small college here in Southern California. The email was from someone who worked at one of the major movement analysis software companies. My friend sent him a link to view one of his athletes performing some Olympic Lifts. Let me start by saying that this female athlete is one of the best technical lifters and one of the STRONGEST female athlete I have ever seen in my life. This 'expert' watched the video of this girl performing power cleans and chose to critique her technique by starting his analysis with 'Well, it appears that this athlete is supposed to be performing a power clean...".

Come on now folks, there is a right and a wrong way to offer constructive criticism right? Anyway, he goes on to tell my friend that all 'good' weightlifters never shift their feet during their lifts. Wait a you're telling me that all these years of me teaching a 'jumping base' (narrow, inside hip width) to start and a 'catching base' (slightly outside hip width) to finish a power clean or snatch have been a great waste of time?? I mean it was only natural for my athletes to shift their feet outward to catch the load in either lift right?! Well, I call bullshit. Take a peek at this clip that I found on YouTube. This is a random compilation of weightlifting clips from the highest level to Junior level lifters ALL of whom shift their feet outward to catch their loads. It never ceases to amaze me how non-practitioners always have these great tidbits to tell those of us who actually work with athletes all day. Sigh.