High or Low?

A lot of times we wrestle with trying to find the right cues for our athletes when coaching weightlifting movements.  As a staff we would all agree that athletes who are new to barbell movements are easier to coach because they don’t tend to have any prior movement biases or fault patterns.

In recent weeks I have found myself having the same conversation with multiple athletes about the snatch in regards to the catch position.  I thought it might be helpful to address that here with you all today and let you in on the coach’s lens that we use.

The question I often get it:  do I focus on catching high or low?  The answer:  It depends.

At Kingfield we have hierarchy of movement requirements that we want to emphasize with our athletes.  When considering how to answer this question - high or low - this is the criteria that helps our guide us to a quick and efficient answer.  

As we watch athletes move, we try and identify three main points:

1. Are they moving safely?.  Especially when it comes to olympic weightlifting,  we have found that focusing on position first, helps keep athletes progressing forward in an upward trajectory.

2.  How’s their timing?  Once an athlete demonstrates that they can achieve all of the requisite positions to move properly, we spend time helping them understand timing.  This is the secret ingredient to all high level lifters.  They have impeccable timing which allows them to move as efficiently and quickly as possible.

3. How much weight is on their bar?  Loading is the final piece of consideration when progressing athletes.  Often times this is where athletes want to start, but moving too quickly will only lead to bigger problems down the road.

I’m sure you all can think back to the time you first started weightlifting and remember how goofy it felt.  If you were lucky enough to have a Foundations session with coach Chris, I’m sure you can remember him saying, “Good!  Let’s try that again.”

Repetition is a necessary component of training. That’s why as coaches we try and hold back on progressing athletes before they are ready. We want them to develop movement patterns that are safe, stable, efficient, and strong!

This week I invite you to take a step back and think about your training.  Consider these 3 coaching points and ask yourself if you think one of these areas applies to you.  If so, talk to your coach about it.  I’m sure they will be stoked to chat.

Happy Thursday Everyone!


WOD 190131

STRENGTH: Front squat. 4 x 5 @ RPE 6 

Athletes should focus on control and consistent drive through the legs and control through the midline throughout the entire movement!


Every 2 minutes for 14 minutes:

100 ft. Shuttle sprint @ alternating **

100 ft. Sandbag carry @ moderate **

** SPRINT: Athletes will alternate 25 ft. facing forwards THEN 25 ft. facing backwards

** SB CARRY: Athletes should remember this is a DELOAD week.  Choose a bag that is moderate due to the nature of hamstring volume today!