Why the "Jump" Cue is Horrible for Weightlifters
In Olympic Weightlifting, coaches have the freedom to mold their athletes however they want. Technique varies so much with butt position off the floor, contact at the hip and feet movement. One thing every coach should teach the same is how to move your feet. Too often I see coaches cueing there athletes to “jump” their feet out into the catch position, but here is why coaches should NOT be teaching their athletes this technique.
Loss of Connection to the Floor:
The longer the feet are off the ground, the less feeling you will have with the bar. Lifts are often missed because of this loss of connection. It causes the bar to have a weird contact point and will result in a jump back, jump forward, or looping of the bar. The solution for this problem is to think about staying grounded for as long as possible. The feet should then “slide” out into the catch position and the heels should come down fast. Keep tension on the bar, keep the heels down longer and slide the feet out into the proper catch position!
Pulling Under the Bar No Longer Exists:
A very important part of a snatch and clean and jerk is pulling under the bar on the finish. Instead of pulling the bar as hard and as fast as possible then diving under it, the athlete should actively think about pulling themselves under the bar to put it in the proper overhead position. With a jump, the athlete can no longer pull themselves under the bar. Just like I outlined in my first point, feet off the ground = no connection to the floor. The athlete will have a much harder time catching a snatch properly without an active pull under the bar. Use the cue: keep your feet grounded long to activate an upper body finish.
Finishing Long and Vertical: (Talk about how jumping will result in finishing behind the bar and not getting vertical)
The more height on the bar, the easier it will be to complete that lift. Getting proper height on a lift comes from the upper body finish at the end of your pull off the floor. If your feet are jumping all over the platform, the body won't be able to get vertical and the height on the bar will be lost. Think about it like this, if you stand on your toes you are taller than if you stand flat footed… correct? Now I know this height difference is only 1-2 inches, but 1-2 inches will make all the difference when going for a personal record in a big lift.
I’m not saying that the “jump” cue is the worst weightlifting cue out there, but it is definitely one of them. To execute a lift properly the athlete needs to be cued to keep the heels and toes down as long as possible, and then slide the feet out into the proper position. It’s all about tension length!
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