Recently I’ve had the pleasure of seeing athletes who compete in sports besides running. I’ve noticed a reversed loading phenomenon. Where distance runners tend to be very, very conservative with their load selection, field and court sport athletes tend to push it the other direction. They want more load on the bar even if it means poor mechanics and even pain.
I see no reason to sacrifice perfect movements for added load. Sure, it’s nice to boost your ego by writing 300 into your log rather than 275, but if you can’t move 300 perfectly why do it? The point of athletes lifting weights is to improve performance in their chosen sport, not to set powerlifting records. In my mind, the best route to improved performance is improved movement mechanics and coordination.
I’m not saying strength is unimportant, but I am saying that the numbers are. We’re still quantifying improvements with increasing loads, but form needs to be as good for all attempts. It is the job of the coach to ensure that this is the case.