Monday, December 27, 2010

On Having a Good Coach

Pre Arnolds Week 1 from Jocelyn Forest on Vimeo.

The above video is simply a highlight reel of my first week of training leading into the 2010 Arnolds in Columbus Ohio this March. Normally I go to see my coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics 2-3 times per week. But with the Holiday season in full swing (and a broken down car) I wasn't able to make the 45 min drive over the hill in the first week of a new cycle. Greg offered to coach me via video this week, in order to be sure I was on the right track.

I felt that my training went well- after all, I didn't miss any lifts, I felt strong, and when I watched my video footage it seemed to look pretty good besides my chest dropping forward here and there. But this is the reason EVERY SERIOUS ATHLETE NEEDS A GOOD COACH. Here's what Greg had to say about my video:

1) get that bar back more overehead in your snatches! you're still keeping the shoulders forward a bit. pin those shoulder blades back together and get the bar over the back of your neck.

2) more in your power snatches than snatches the bar is swinging out as you pull under. get the elbows high and to the sides so you and the bar stay in immediate proximity

3) on deadlifts, lower the bar in the same good position you lifted it rather than stiff-legging it down and/or dropping it. it doesn't need to be a slow eccentric, but control the position - that will double the time you're practicing and strengthening the correct position.

4) 3-position snatches - watch those hang positions. the last one especially you need to get your knees and hips back more and keep your shoulders in front of the bar slightly. don't rush that - lower the bar, set the position correctly, and then go. above the knee your shoulders should be directly above the bar, shins almost vertical. at mid-thigh, your shins should be vertical and the shoulders slightly in front of the bar - lots of tension on the hamstrings and glutes.

5) pulls - you MUST get your elbows to the sides even on pulls- they are moving backward, when they need to be moving out. this is just reinforcing that habit, and it will make it impossible for you to correct that swing of the bar during the 3rd pull of your snatches. force yourself to turn the elbows out to the sides maximally in your start position for every single rep.

6) jerks - stay back on your heels - you have a great jerk, but you get lazy and rush it sometimes and it throws you forward. that will catch up and bite you in the ass soon if you don't get a handle on it. once you're doing 100+, you won't be able to control an errant jerk so easily

7) pulls from blocks - in the start, you need to get your knees back - vertical shins, shoulders slightly in front of the bar. get tension in this position and lift directly from it each time. make sure you're opening your hips all the way.

If it weren't for the well trained eye and expert coaching of Greg, I'd just go on doing more of the same thinking everything was going well. I'd be wiring in, over and over, the wrong motor pattern, further ingraining bad habits.

From one athlete to another, don't ever get complacent just because you think you're feeling and performing well. NO ONE is above needing a good coach. If you really want to be your best seek one out, and for God's sake do whatever he (or she) tells you to do:)

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