The Last Thing You Will Ever Need To Hear
By Donny Shankle CPT
After the weightlifter has completed the pull and has given him or herself the commands of, “make ready,” “set,” “break,” and “finish,” it is now time to move into the “receive” command. The weightlifter who finds the catch position rapidly (comprised of both the “receive” and “stand” commands) will almost certainly have a successful lift, at least for the snatch. It is vitally important during the “receive” command to move the feet with purpose. Picking the feet up off the platform requires the weightlifter to jump powerfully through the “finish.” If the weightlifter does not move the feet here, it will feel like going after a maximum weight with your shoes tied together. In the beginning of a weightlifter's training the action of the feet moving supersedes nearly every other action. An audible sound must be heard from the far end of the gym so the weightlifter learns the importance of power and moving deliberately. Once this has been learned then the sound of the feet hitting the platform hard is not as important as long as the weightlifter continues to make the feet move with purpose.
Weightlifting is not ballet and if you catch the bar on your toes like a dancer then be prepared for a painful and discouraging lesson. Picking up the feet and bringing them back down hard as you “receive” the bar will help you move into this command flat footed. The more secure your feet are on the platform during the “receive" command, the greater balance you will have and you will also find yourself moving deftly through the following “stand” command. Being deliberate with the feet will also move the weightlifter under the bar with greater speed. Completion of a violent “finish,” followed by the weightlifter knowing exactly where the feet are at all times, is the perfect combination that allows you to move under the bar with alarming speed. The challenge of having enough strength to stay over the bar until the last split second and finding maximum extension is over. From here on out, for both the snatch and clean & jerk, the weightlifter must move with a speed not found in any other sport. The weightlifter moving under the bar is the fastest action physically possible by man. Knowing this should motivate you enough to not hesitate here. COMMAND yourself to go under the bar with the authority of a Sergeant Major yelling at his troops to hit the deck after the enemy has just lobbed a grenade into your encampment. It is the poor son-of-a-bitch who didn't hear the command and says, “huh?” who goes home in a body bag. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM FOR CARELESS LAZINESS HERE! If you do not move under the bar with the conviction of staying alive during the catch, then the lift is dead and you will not be having victory sex after the competition is over. Not going under the bar with the intent to win will leave the weightlifter dead inside. What else in life has he or she missed out on because they didn't move like a falcon snatching a sparrow out of the sky who didn't see it coming? What the hell do you have to lose after the “finish?” MOVE!
The catch is a solid position which the weightlifter must move into with a sense of purpose. You are to remain unshakable here like the disciple Peter who Jesus called the rock of his church. Root yourself in your catch position with your powerful legs so that if a tsunami came along to wash you out to sea you would be the dam which saved the people. I did not go over the third pull as many other coaches do because to examine the third pull only leaves the weightlifter confused and confusion causes you to move slowly. If slow is what you are after then go and bake a fucking bunt cake. Any weightlifter who thinks he or she must make the effort of the third pull a conscious action is a time wasting, non-money making, limp noodle of a soul who still probably clings to the tits of his or her mother. Now is the time to be independent and resolute in what you are trying to achieve. Now is the time to abandon doubt and believe that one day you will have a monument made in your likeness. NOW IS THE TIME TO REACT TO YOUR FINISH WITH DARING PURPOSE! There is no justification for lack of effort here. Abandon everything and pull yourself under the bar with unmatched provocation. It is discouraging for me to hear someone new to the sport mention to me how he or she did not get under the bar because his or her third pull was not strong enough. Like I stated before, during the section discussing the pull, keep it simple and move quickly after the “finish” into the catch. You do not need to give any description on what happens after the finish and you, the weightlifter, certainly do not need to waste your efforts thinking about it. When you are pulling yourself under the bar JUST MOVE WITH PURPOSE AND MIND BOGGLING SPEED.
The catch is comprised of both the catch in the snatch and the catch in the clean. Both “receive” commands are nearly identical and both must be moved into with the intent of not staying down there for long. Rather, one moves quickly into the “stand.” Because the catch position is moved into immediately after the pull, all actions and virtues up to the “finish” must converge into the catch. The coming together of acceptance, fearlessness, patience, and idealism mass together here at this moment into a ball of sovereign power. Combined with the action of speed to physically get to the catch and the strength of both mind and body to remain unmoved in this position allows the weightlifter to remain steady and firm in the bottom, ready to explode. The weightlifter who gets crushed in the “catch” position during either a clean or snatch is a weightlifter who has simply moved under without conviction. COMMAND yourself to take action like a giant and move under the bar with the force of a hurricane if you want to “receive” the bar in an immovable position.
The lift is not over in the catch and for the clean & jerk you are only a third of the way done. Catch the bar with the same indignity you showed the bar during the pull and give the pain it wrenches on you no acknowledgment. The catch position, in fact, must not even exist in your mind and by the time you hit it, you are already commanding yourself to move out of it. The faster you can do this, the less likely you will make a brainless mistake and lose your lift. Move so fast during the catch position going into and coming out of the “receive” and “stand” commands that you piss off the photographers trying to capture the moment. Let us pick up with command number 5, the “receive” command.