Coaching the Set Up – Addressing the Bar

Joes Barbell
Comments Off on Coaching the Set Up – Addressing the Bar

Below is a Video of myself and two other Joe’s Barbellers participating in an American Weightlifting Federation Meet.

This was my first competition since this past July’s USAW Nationals.  Aside from four months without training, I’ve also been managing the affects of a minor surgical procedure and working through some related personal issues.  Knocking off the dust is never as easy as any of us would like.  I have found retracing the fundamentals a helpful and critical part of any climb back up the mountain.

Whether you are a new athlete or a never was embarking on a Post Vasectomy Mid Life Crisis Comeback Tour (#PVMLCCT) starting from ground zero always a good idea.  With that in mind here are some tips, and good use of some quality pics made available by the good folks at Recon Photography, regarding Coaching the set up.

Step One – Address the Bar

The sport of weightlifting requires a level of focus and consistency.  One of the reasons my 3 year old son is a terrible weightlifter is that he can’t establish enough focus to consistently duplicate any movement.  Sure, he picks up random stuff, goes over head, and makes all the mommies say awe, but that’s not weightlifting.  The sport of Weightlifting requires you to be mentally present.  If you want to successfully go over head you need to focus on the task at hand and step onto the platform with a mindset and approach that facilitates making lifts.  Addressing the bar is all about establishing confidence and laying the mental ground work for consistent habits that will ultimately lead to consistent technique. 

Coaches, teammates, music can help zero in focus.  However, in my mind this first step must begin with the athlete.  You have to ask yourself why Weightlifting? Why am I picking up this bar?  Is this rep important?  Not, where are my kids?  Who is John Galt?  Do my socks match my shoelaces?  There are all kinds of why’s and they all have merit, including wanting to look good naked, having fun and learning something new.  As an athlete you must establish a point of motivation and search out circumstances that help facilitate that point.

As you address the bar connecting with that motivation is critical.  Equally as important is rehearsing the cues your coach uses to correct the the faults in your movement.  As I coach my athlete I use a lot of verbiage.  As I vomit cue after cue their way I also ask them from time to time what makes sense to them?  What cues do you like?  Most importantly, what cues make the most sense to you?  As a Weightlifter you must address the bar with the most simple and effective cues that guide your Weightlifting.  

On competition day those are the cues I use the most.  For instance, during this past AWF meet, before Steph and Vinnie took the platform, I would looked each in the eye and repeat, “push with your legs, keep your chest up, and FINISH!”  One of the reason I use that phrasing is that in Vinnie’s first meet he told me that helped.  

Interesting huh?  If there is not open communication between you and your coach the relationship is no good.  If your coach does not make adjustments to get that best out of you on that day the relationship is no good.  

More on the Set-Up shortly.  In the mean time address the bar and life with purpose and direction and you’ll be in your way to Living Six For Six…

like the knuckle heads pictured below    

nice like the plastic taste of a cheap medal to remind you of a job well done!