To Catch or Not to Catch Part II
It is our duty to make sure that any athlete that is required to do additional outside lifting with their teams, is able to safely demonstrate proper technique for some of these more complex movements, even if they are never going to do them with great intent at TP.
To follow up on our last post about Olympic lifts, it’s important to note that although we look at each sport and each position inside that sport differently, we can only control what we can control. Outside of Total Performance’s training sessions we can’t control what each athlete will do outside those hours, so we assess, train, educate and hope for the best.
To help avoid any disaster from happening, we like to teach our athlete’s all the skills that they might learn in their high school weight room or what colleges might ask them to do. My point being that even though an athlete probably should not “catch” (as a reminder, the catch is the part of the lift that may put the body [in particular the wrist, elbow and shoulders] at a greater risk for injury if not performed correctly) an Olympic lift doesn’t mean he/she won’t be asked to anywhere else (Cross-fit gym, college, high school).
With that said, there have been some special circumstances where we normally would not have programmed an athlete to do an olympic lift, or more specifically, to “catch” the portion of the lift. Therefore, to keep our athletes safe and to set them up for success, we make sure they are adequately prepared to perform a variety of movement skills in the event that their school weight room session (HS or College) asks them to do something that may be outside our realm thinking.
Below is a chilling real life example of what can go wrong if an athlete is not prepared.
This most recent off-season (winter 2019) we had a group of baseball athletes on the same High School team training together and they told us that the coach was making them do power cleans in their weekly team lifts. However, when we asked them to show us how they were taught to do it (with a unweighted barbell), none of them could do it correctly. When we asked them who taught them how to do it like this, they informed us that after a few example from the coach, most of the seniors were responsible for helping the underclassman with their form (keep in mind that if they were to add a load to this exercise that they were performing incorrectly, they would very likely get hurt). The story doesn’t end there though, as we were saddened to hear a few weeks later that their best pitcher on their team with a division I scholarship (not a TP athlete) tore his UCL during one of the team lifts while trying to catch the power clean! We cannot make this stuff up!
We wish that everywhere thought the same way as the Strength & Conditioning Professionals at Total Performance, but we know that is not realistic. Our main objective is overall personal/athletic development, therefore we make sure that our athletes are ready for whatever the situation asks of them so that they can perform to the best of their ability with little-to-no risk. The story above is a real story, and reiterates the fact that weight training can be extremely dangerous and even detrimental, without proper supervision, coaching and programming.