The shortest distance between two points is a straight line—which is also often the quickest route to a missed snatch.
In snatching, you don’t want a perfectly vertical bar path but rather a line that curves in toward you slightly.
“The path of the bar is where?” Coach Mike Burgener asks. “It’s back. That’s the key. You don’t want that path to be straight. You don’t want it to go around. You want it to be back.”
With light weight on the bars, Jason Khalipa and Jocelyn Forest, work on finding the “pocket area” by deadlifting the bar, pulling it back toward the pockets in their shorts and then exploding upward with a fast and powerful jump that snaps the weight overhead.
Many athletes start the jump with the bar far too low on their legs, creating a bar path that arcs outward and pulls them forward. The result is usually bumpers hitting the deck. Coach B explains that the longer you stay back and over the bar as it rises, the better chance you have to make the lift.
When Khalipa gets on the iron, he unleashes his strength and pulls prematurely with his arms, almost muscle-snatching the weight. Forest pulls straight from the ground, forgets to find the pocket position and goes “to hell in a handbasket.”
Coach Burgener takes each athlete back in the progression from the ground to the mid-thigh to the pockets, eliminating the errors. The final step is putting it all together in one smooth, technically sound, explosive movement.
Additional reading: The Scoop and the Second Pull by Greg Glassman, published Jan. 1, 2006.