Every coach has dealt with a lifter that has simply fallen out of the groove with their technique and their feeling on the platform. This could be caused by a plethora of issues...poor recovery, too many variations, too many competitive lifts without variations, too many strength movements that have a negative impact on training or even outside distractions that could impact training negatively. All of these factors can impact feeling on the platform and couple that with poor nutrition, poor sleep and poor mobility and all of a sudden the lifter cannot feel anything on the platform.
There are a few things to do in this case. In my experience, the less movements in the program the better and the faster confidence can be restored, obviously the better!
- Take out almost all variations except for no feet movements and powers. No feet movements will help with connection to the ground and powers will help regain confidence in movements because the athlete will find their groove with consistent, successful lifts.
- Use VOLUME. Hit sets of 3’s predominantly with minimal rest in between reps. If the athlete is forced to hit triples at a lighter weight, confidence will come back and technical improvements will be found.
- On the Minutes!! On the minute sets (Athlete takes a rep, drops the bar and a 1:00 timer begins) force athletes into a groove where they think less and react faster with the body.
- Static weeks…don’t let the athlete ramp with their loading schemes. Force them to hit the same weight over and over and over and over again to imprint the new feeling and the improved positions.
- Shorten rest periods. Another way to get the body to do the work and not the brain.
Getting the lifter back on track requires a multitude of aspects to be kept in check. Nutrition and sleep quality are obviously of the utmost importance because many lifters fall out of the groove of technique when they are failing to recover responsibly. Once that is in check, improve volume with specific weights, get the athlete to let their body do the work not the brain and get them to move the same weight consistently OVER AND OVER again.