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.



Ross Naughton said...

A monk asked Seijo: "I understand that a C-rin who lived before recorded history sat in meditation for ten cycles of existence and could not realize the highest truth, and so could not perfect her power snatch. Why was this so?"

Seijo replied: "Your question is self-explanatory."

The monk asked: "But the C-rin was meditating, so why could she not fulfill C-rinhood?"

Seijo said: "She was not a C-rin."

Kelly Starrett said...

The Old Monk asked the student:
What is the sound of one C-rin snatching?

The student replied:
I don't know, my eyes were closed.

The old monk slapped the student.

Then the student had a great moment of satori.

Anonymous said...

If you drop a snatch at SFCF and no one is present does it make a sound?


Kelly Starrett said...

How would you know if it had been dropped?

Robert said...

Espresso: Four Barrel, with Corbs, 10 minutes. Now that is Zen.

Kelly Starrett said...

Do you snatch the weight?
Or does the weight snatch you?

I can do this all day.


Corrine said...

Okay, I'm not quite sure what is going on here but next time I get slapped after an attempted snatch, I will know why.

Anonymous said...

C Rinne. Its cliche but the visualization, and belief in yourself is huge. Your closing your eyes while snatching like you're wishing the weight up. Open up your eyes and and snatch it. Focus on that explosive pull that sends shocks waves from the force of your hips with the bar sticking close to your body like a singed koala bear holding tight to a fireman in the outback. Step up to that bar, take a breath and explode. Keep your eyes open "Life moves pretty fast, if you dont stop to look around might miss it".

FilthyBrit said...

"Like a singed koala." What an incredible simile! I'll never snatch again without thinking of it. Thank you kind sir (or madam)!

Corrine said...

Dear Anonymous,
You are spot on. Most of the time when I get to a weight that is a new pr (like in the photo 90lb), I freak out a bit. I usually just hope I can lift the weight. But the self doubt and glaring form issues crush me in the end. It's something I need to work on.
Thanks so much for your comment and I will remember it every time I go for a heavy lift. I wouldn't want to let that koala bear down, now would I?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is Lucas. The fact that you two could not figure this out from the silky smooth flow of sentences makes me cry tears.....tears that could cure the black plague (if ever again that is necessary.


PS Im still down for all the challenges

Steve Caddy said...

Grasshopper: snatch the barbell from my hand!

Corrine said...

Your Australian references threw me off. I am used to references involving Gates, Hades, Avalon, Mist, Steeds, Mystery, waves, watermelon helmets and fists of glory . You sir, have stepped up your game. I like the inclusion of furry and sleepy animals, albeit singed ones.

Corrine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.