I wanted to share a coaching tip I have introduced with our U18 Academy players recently, in the hope that this either gets you thinking about your own lifting and improves self awareness. Or, gives an idea to younger coaches on how to make their athletes more self-aware as they advance through their athletic journey.
Our young bucks are now in a position where they have earned the right to load their movements a bit more. With the understanding that the positions and patterns must not change regardless of weight on the bar. ⠀
The players are more than familiar with the correct techniques and the cues, but the gym can be a strange place for young rugby players…One minute you’re listening to your coach and following all the right cues…And the next minute you see your mate lift 20kg more and so the decision is made to dance with the devil in snap-city when your coach is dealing with another athlete.
While it’s a good problem to have athletes who want to do more, it’s important to have them load-up the ‘right way’. That’s where the “RATE THE LIFT” came from. We are now at a stage of learning where they can breakdown specifically what was good and what needs to improve around our core lifts, and we’ll have a quick conversation after a heavy lift which they will now lead based on a three rating system (three being the best score).
⭐️ | Both technique and load needs adjusted.
⭐️ ⭐️ | Safe, but either the technique needs adjusted, or the load needs adjusted.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ | Bravo!
The player pictured rated his lift of 120kg for 4 x 4 at 2.5 stars before we had a brief chat. His lift was very good, with a straight back throughout due to a solid brace, knees tracking as they should, elbows pulled back and down pushing out against the knees and heels down etc. As he was able to identify all the points I was looking for, his rating stayed at 2.5, with the notion that he could start with slightly higher hip position to allow for optimal torso angle throughout the pull.
Don’t get bogged down in the “paralysis by analysis” trap when you (or your athletes) are lifting. However, do develop critical self awareness and have a very brief review after each set to determine if things should stay as planned or if there are small adjustments required.
Tags: academy rugby, biella, deadlift, fmtraining, gym, performance training, squat, strength&conditioning, train smarter, trainingforlife, trainlikeanathlete