We have all experienced the awkward situation of seeing an athlete perform a movement incorrectly, but feeling a little uncomfortable to step in and assert yourself with a correction. I would propose that the reason for the awkwardness and uncertainty is less about your technical knowledge, and more about the unsure manner of your tone.
We have repeatedly found that the best way to ease someone into a regression is focus entirely on the benefit of the movement and setting them up for the most successful way to receive it.
For example, if someone is unable to hold their pelvic positioning in a plank, you wouldn’t walk up to them and say, “Hey, Mark. Since you can’t hold this position let’s do something a little easier. Let’s have you perform a kneeling plank.” All that approach would do is alienate Mark and make him feel weak and insufficient.
Instead, channel your communication to the benefit of the movement.
“Mark, I want to get you into a position that better allows you to keep the anterior core engaged. Right now, since this is a tough movement, your hips are routinely dumping forward and when you’re in this position, you essentially turn off your abs, create compression in the lumbar, and don’t receive the benefit. I want you to get the benefit, so let’s have you try out the kneeling variation and I want you to tell me if you’re feeling that more in your abs.”
Check out this video for a 60 second tip for how to execute, from a question a participant asked at our 2018 Summer Coach Academy.
What do you think?