Olympic Lifting is Motor Learning
Here is a thought process that many of you may already know but not necessarily why..
When Larry Mather, one of Canada's longest serving lifting coaches stated to me that "everyone has way more strength and power than they know how to use" it clicked. Olympic lifting is a total body approach that requires every joint to contribute in order for work to be performed. Whether it be sagittal plane mobility or transverse and frontal plane stability, the requisite minimum for proper execution is adequate integrity in all directions.
From a motor learning perspective, olympic lifting is neuroplasticity. What we are getting our athletes to do during training is essentially computer programming. Because as we focus on the how, naturally the how much will take care of itself. Let me say that again,
As we focus on the how, naturally the how much will take care of itself
If you've ever coached these lifts, you will most certainly understand that technique is of utmost importance. This is why so much emphasis must be placed on perfection. As Mike Boyle stated, "if it looks good, it probably is". I really don't think you can say the same for many other lifting approaches, save for, perhaps, kettlebells.
Olympic lifting is simply physics and biomechanics. The reality is, doing it the right way is the easiest way. And if the athlete isn't doing it the right way, that is, if there is an error in technique, then it is likely a central nervous system motor program issue that must be addressed. Most certainly joint mobility and muscle imbalance may be a concern, but very often perceived lack of mobility (for example) is simply a result of faulty motor patterning. And therefore appropriate cuing may be all that is necessary. Just watch and experienced lifting coach in action and you'll understand what I mean.
...and that is why I think Olympic Lifting is Motor Learning!
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