Where is your power leaking?

When I'm training people I'm a big fan of using exercises that allow people to make their own discoveries. I can give cues often, in different ways but that is not as effective as showing the individual a video of themselves. But even that lacks the simple power of them feeling what I am talking about.
Take the plank for example. Cues about tightening the belt or bringing their arse down can help but not always. Get somebody to do the plank on a wooden floor in their socks dramatically demonstrates the principle. Try it yourself in your kitchen. Lie down, a straight line from your ankles to the top of your head, supported on your forearms and the tips of your toes. Hold it for 30-60s.
Chances are that you will not know whether you are in a straight line or not- you're too close to the exercise. It is equally possible that while you have no evidence or basis on which to support your view, especially over an observer, you will declare with absolute authority that you are very much in the right position.
This time, take off your shoes, leave your socks on and repeat it. If you find yourself struggling to get your feet to grip, you've discovered something. The position is as a result of tension at the ends and not in the middle.
The weighted squat starting from the bottom and the Sots press are two other examples of purposeful exercises which also highlight weakness and power leakage.
What got me thinking about all of this is not just a recent gym session with one of the lads on the squat rack but listening to people in other spheres. It is telling to see how quickly a team turns on itself when it is put under pressure. It can be tragi-comic to watch people turn on those around them when they feel a threat to their position. All the talk of community, of team, of companionship is tossed straight out of the window.
Not all the time.
With practice that energy is kept and utilised for a purpose. But it takes careful selection. It takes work. It takes an awareness and an understanding of your values. And it takes an application of those such that you remove the stuff and the people that interfere.

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