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Fear of Pulling Under the Snatch

If you miss your heaviest snatches because you’re afraid of getting deep under the bar, here are some ways to work on it.
First, start building better familiarity and comfort under the bar by pausing for 2-5 seconds at the bottom of every snatch, overhead squat, or snatch balance you do. This is the simplest way to rack up experience down there.
Next, build strength and stability for greater confidence with heavy overhead squats and snatch balances. Pushing these exercises until you’re able to do 5-10% more than you snatch will help you trust your ability to safely receive even new PR attempts.
You can also build confidence and commitment in a deep pull under without the threat of actual heavy weights with exercises like the tall snatch, snatch from high hang or blocks, slow-pull snatch, or dip snatch. All of these simulate heavy snatches by reducing the ability to elevate the bar so you’re able to practice that execution without the fear of the actual big weights.
Also consider what’s happening in the lift before the pull under—if you’re out of position or balance in the first or second pull, not only will the idea of pulling under seem scarier, you may be physically incapable of doing it, meaning racking up a bunch of sketchy misses at heavier weights and increasing your fear and doubt.

You can also adjust your training program to help. Doing 8-20 on-the-minute singles with the same or increasing weights, and over time moving those weights heavier and heavier is a good way to minimize thinking and let yourself make lifts.
Progressive waves will allow you to sneak up on your pants-s%!ting threshold. Do 3 waves of 3 increasing weights, increasing those weights slightly on each wave. For example, 90-95-100, then 92-97-102, then 94-99-104; single kilo increments are a good idea for lower weights.
And of course, simply trying to accumulate more volume as close to the pants-s%!ting threshold as you can is helpful. Try to do several sets a few kilos under and creep it up week to week as tolerated; you can also work to a heavy single and find exactly where pants will s%!t on that day, then drop to the closest weight you can execute well for a few more singles.
Finally, practice visualization—ideally when first waking up and right before sleep, as well as before each set of snatches. Rehearse the entire execution until it’s completely routine and consistent, and you’re actually experiencing the positive emotional sensation of making a big lift rather than fear or anxiety in anticipation.

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