View Full Version : Optimal number of cues

Ben Moskowitz
01-23-2011, 01:19 PM
I was reading through the thread on triple extension and the subject of cuing came up. It was mentioned that one should think about no more than three cues before performing a lift. I have also heard that trying to correct no more than one thing at a time is the most effective way to coach. So, what is the optimal number of cues to:

think about before performing a lift yourself
think about while performing the lift yourself
convey to a trainee before they perform the lift
tell a trainee while they perform the lift

Does the type of cue differ depending on one of the above situations? For instance, one may consider a mechanics-type cue like "knees out" or "shoulders over the bar" vs. performance-type cue like "pull yourself under" or "fully extend."

Obviously this is part of the art of coaching, but I would love to hear your views.

Pete Gordon
01-24-2011, 08:15 AM
As a coach you have a responsibility to determine a triage format for technical faults of the sportsman. Wait! Triage? Yes....Wikipedia (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triage) define triage as...

"The process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition".

You need to sit back and look at sometimes many different faults and determine the mist important ones and start from there. For example there is excessive swinging of the bar when taking the bar from the knee joint. They also have a habit of pressing out in even moderate lifts. As a coach, I feel that the bar swinging fault is far more urgent than a bit of press out.

When talking with the lifter about the bar trajectory, where they are in their development needs to be taken into consideration. If their rank beginners, supply 1 cue, ie glide the bar up the thighs. If intermediate, discuss gliding the bar up the thigh as well as driving your hips through the bar.

Once improvement with the first issue is made, the swinging ofthr bar is made, working on the next pressing matter. The press out! The cause of this could be a number of things such as lack of flexibility or delay in the driving the body under the bar into the squat receiving position. Work with the many various hang positions could be used or snatch balances. Encouraging quick movements is key.

Warning: When seeing multiple commonly done faults, ie the bar usually swings out in front, press out in the snatch and when in the first pull the hips rise too fast...this can be quite frustrating. Avoid talking about about all of the faults with newer lifters. It could put them off of lifting. Positive reinforcement is a tool to be often used!!

Has that helped?

Brian DeGennaro
01-24-2011, 04:58 PM
It depends?

I try to limit it to just 2 at the most, and by the time I get to 80% I tell myself and others to just do it or catch that bar ASAP.

Before lifting and in between sets I've noticed the best thing to do is relax and focus on the next set, seeing it and feeling it.

Most of the errors you see can be attributed to something going wrong from 1st pull to 2nd pull. A lot of cues and observations come down to trying to perfect that first pull.

Keith Miller
01-26-2011, 08:51 PM
I recently read a good article by Chad Vaughn (posted on Facebook) that one should think about no more than 2-3 cues. I typically try and only think about two, tight off the floor, and extend up.

If I think about more (and I often do), then things go badly!!

Steven Low
01-27-2011, 05:04 PM
1-2 is probably best. Obviously, try to pick the major things you want them to work on first.

As far as frequency obviously in the beginning more cuing is necessarily but it should taper out as it improves. Allow your guys/gals enough practices to get the hang of what you are trying to do...

Correcting after every rep can be frustrating... as can correcting even after every 5-10 reps.

I've grown to be a bigger fan of having them ask questions when they think they are ready to move onto the next step or they suspect something is still wrong with their movement quality before providing extra cues or reinforcing ones that we just started.