For this technique Tuesday I want to talk about the time it takes to develop good technique.
I have had the opportunity the last 6 months to talk to tons and tons of coaches on every level.
The Russian model of technique the Chinese model, the many American models.
All I wanted to talk about was technique, technique, and more technique.
But, one thing has become really clear. All techniques work for someone.
No two lifts look a like and everyone has a personal take on the model they follow.
For example, Apti—the Russian weightlifter, trains in a Russian system that is known for having a higher hip and hamstring dominant pull, however, even though Apti advocates the Russian model, he lifts with a lower hip quad dominant pull.
So why do we have such technical issues in the USA?
This is the question everyone wants answered. Honestly, we don’t have technical issues. The big difference is that we do not have a large number of athletes in a consistent long term training plan.
It is not that we don’t know what good technique is, it is just we do not have the time in one singular system to see the technique through and see the results of that system.
Think about the amount of time it takes to develop a lifter. Lifting for 2 years in the USA is a long period, in other countries this is only the beginning.
The USA has plenty of great coaches and plenty of coaches who know technique. Of course we need more, but we are not light years behind everyone on the technical front.
Anecdotally—and I have talked to many coaches who share this same experience, in fact I feel bold enough to say all coaches have had this experience.
I have had many athletes who I have worked with for a yearish— with good result. Who then think it is time to switch to the next bigger better program for various reasons. They think they need to squat everyday, snatch 3x a month, or front squat their best clean for a set of 10. You name it, the reason doesn’t matter. In reality they just need to stick to the program that they are executing.
Are their intentions bad? — No probably not. So what makes them want to do this?
At the end of the day we are still a quick fix culture and if the lifts we want are not coming to us in the time frame we want we start looking for other solutions. The problem is often times the shortfall is understanding the time frame to make those goals.
To compound the problem we have Instagram influencers who are a little more advanced and advocate philosophies and techniques that they did not use when they were building their technical foundation as an athlete. They may be doing this to grow their on-line coaching program or serve whatever agenda they have.
This is not all evil—in fact I think it is good to some degree because it spreads the word and opportunities for weightlifting. However, when the consumer is not educated in what it takes to develop a high level of weightlifting it causes set backs.
So what is the fix?
The fix is simple but hard.
In the long run. The USA has to develop a weightlifting system that starts with a hardcore education program. The more people know the more empowered they are. The education system needs to be robust. This is an over simplification. I will leave this point and revisit it in another blog.
In the short term.
The conversation between athletes and coaches can never stop. Anytime an athlete leaves your gym or your program it is because they were not getting exactly what they needed. Not always will you be able to meet everyone's needs, but more time than not good athlete coach communication goes a long way.
Coaches—keep advocating for your system and your program. Let the athletes know this is a long process. Take video, show them how much they have technically improved. And of course, believe in your system.
Look—we have developed Sr. National level weightlifters from nothing, I believe in our process! I know it works, I just have to be better about communicating the long term and short term goals! That is what I am committed to doing.
What will you do?