EYES ON TARGET
Learning the Six Absolutes
By Dr. Greg Shepard
Published: Winter 2001
President’s Note: In our Winter 1999 BFS Journal, we introduced the BFS Six Absolutes. They are now a focal point in all BFS Clinics. The Six Absolutes are amazingly effective in teaching and learning perfect technique not only in the weight room but in any sport. Learn the Six Absolutes and you can elevate your strength coaching abilities dramatically. The best part is that they are easy to learn.
The Six absolutes are as follows:
1. Use an Athletic or Jump Stance.
2. Be Tall.
3. Spread the Chest (To help lock-in the lower back).
4. Toes Aligned.
5. Knees Aligned (Knees over toes).
6. Eyes On Target.
This article will focus on the sixth absolute - Eyes On Target.
Eyes On Target is such a wonderful phrase and has many applications. Use it all the time in the weight room and during practice. Your eyes control your head position. Try putting your head down and while looking up. It is hard and unnatural. Where your eyes go so does your head. Where your head goes so goes your alignment, either good or bad. You must stay in a correct alignment or “Power Line.” Your head and eyes can take you out of correct position quicker than anything. Training yourself or your athletes to keep their eyes on target will pay huge dividends.
Generally, the eyes should be focused on a target straight ahead but there are exceptions. The first exception is with picking a weight up from the floor (such as in Power Cleans, Power Snatches, Dead Lifts, Hex Bar Lifts and Hang Cleans). With these exercises, the eyes should focus on a point 45 degrees above the line that is straight head. The second exception is on the start of a sprint. The eyes should not be focused straight ahead but on a point three feet ahead of the starting line.
The Eyes On Target Absolute may also be used in sports such as football. For example, It is late in the game and you are behind. You’re on defense and you must create a turnover. Instead of tackling with your eyes on the ball carrier’s chest, you may want to switch to targeting the ball. At BFS Clinics, athletes learn this absolute so thoroughly that by the end of the day all you have to do is say, “Eyes” and an immediate perfect correction takes place. The following photos to the side illustrate different examples of the Eyes On Target Absolute.