Friday, July 29, 2011

Tips For A Good Weekend At RKC

Blog Jul 29, 2011 1 Comment

I attended the first RKC weekend in April of this year, April 15th – April 17th.  Tax Day will never, ever mean the same to me again.  It was an amazing, educational, fulfilling, at times heart-breaking, taxing, and dare I say…fun experience.

It only took me over 3 months to commit my personal thoughts on the RKC weekend to written words.  I’ve been a little busy bee since RKC, and there’s already so much great information and advice out there.  There’s no value in trying to reinvent the wheel.  As a reminder to myself, I will jot down some tips/thoughts that I consider noteworthy of my own experience at the April RKC.

Here is tip #1:

Technique – Focus on details before you go.

I don’t know how many of these tips are stuck in my brain, but this is the one I consider to be at the top of my list.  It is hands down, the one major thing that made my RKC experience…not easy…but…easier…than anticipated.

There is really only about 2 days worth of actual instruction during the weekend.  Having your technique/form down cold beforehand will allow you to focus on refinement of your skills rather than furiously learning a new skill or completely reworking bad habits.  Learning new skills and overhauling bad habits take much more energy than refining already good skills, fine-tuning details, and re-enforcing good habits.  You’ll hear everyone say that the sheer volume of the weekend is overwhelming. Yes, it’s a lot of work.  Often, remedial work requires more effort and adds more volume than refinement work.

At the RKC I attended, the snatch test was on the first day.  I saw many well-conditioned candidates fail the snatch test because of poor technique leading to more effortful, inefficient reps, and ultimately an inability to get through 5 minutes.  Some trashed their hands in those first 5 minutes.  The effects of poor technique will start to tear you down from the beginning.

I’m a slow learner, and it takes me double the practice and cognitive learning time that most people need to truly feel like I have a handle on a specific skill.  Two key points here for me:  I found an RKC to teach me, and spent a year honing in on those skills and technique under his guidance.  Most people don’t need that much time, but again, I’m a slow learner.  In the weeks before RKC, I also had the privilege of working with two other magnificent human beings: Dan John and Mark Reifkind.  Yes, I’m extremely lucky to live where I live and have this level of access to the greats. 

A by-product of extra practice time is conditioning.  Within 3 months of beginning to work with my trainer, I was doing 50-minutes, 1000-swing “practice sessions”, and moved on from there to the other skills.  At RKC in April, the volume of the weekend didn’t really bother me.  Most candidates said they were sore on Saturday, but I didn’t feel anything (except my bad arm – the topic of another post).  I had done more work in preparation for the actual event.  The Grad Workout was actually fun and enjoyable for me in a weird way. Focusing my energy on fine-tuning technique, making sure every rep is a good rep made even the Grad Workout fun. 

In my group, a couple of candidates really did not have their technique down for the RKC 6.  They spent a lot of time during the weekend practicing, experimenting, doing more reps.  For me, that’s work that should be done in preparation.  After all, the main purpose of the certification is to prepare us to teach those skills.  The weekend is taxing enough on your body.  Remove some of the hurdles and flatten the learning curve for yourself by going in with solid technique and form on which to build.

That is my #1 tip, a good reminder as I progress toward my goals.  More to come…

One Response to “Tips For A Good Weekend At RKC”

  1. Reply Dan says:

    You are a modern savage.

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