Brian Derwin, former National Champion and 1980 USA Olympic Team Member, former USAW President, and Team Spartacus coach, recently discussed a coaching challenge. This is when a new lifter lacks confidence in the squat snatch receiving position, and as weights increase ends up performing a power snatch.
Coaches sometimes encounter this problem, especially with new lifters at a meet. The lifter warms up for the snatch but they tend to have a “highish” receiving position. As the weight gets closer to their best the lift becomes a very high power snatch.
There seems to be a mental block, with the default of a power snatch when one would expect a lower squat snatch.
Correcting the process involves:
- Become stronger and more confident in the low positions;
- Use lighter weights with a small range of motion to replicate getting under with a lower risk;
- Squat snatch with heavier weights
I have an example of this from our training Hall. I used five exercises to address this situation. We worked this over a period of eight weeks.
A. Snatch Behind the Neck Press (SNBNP)
3 sets of 5-wrists turned over and bar/shoulder/hip and heel in a straight vertical line.
B. Overhead Squat (OHS)
3 sets of 5- wrists turned over and bar/shoulder/hip and heel in as straight vertical line as possible. If the athlete cannot get into a straight vertical line, then a strident stretching routine must take place.
C. Sots Snatch Behind the Neck Press (Sots SNBNP)
3 sets of 5-Much like #1, but the athlete stays in the bottom position and presses the bar up, again looking for a vertical line.
D. Snatch from the Very High Hang (SN VHH)
5 sets of 3-There would only be about an inch of vertical movement. This is lightweight and the goal to begin squat snatching, ultimately becoming confident getting under the bar. This is typically with lighter weights to build up confidence with less perceived risk.
E. Snatch from the floor
5 sets of 3s or 2s and over time working up to heavier singles.
Gaining confidence via this process has repeatedly paid dividends for Team Spartacus lifters that exhibit this hesitation to receive competition weights in a full bottom position. Feel free to give it a try!