I would be happy to post a new thread outlining my training. I suppose that should be under the training catergory although my current focus is on psychological improvement.
No, you are more than welcome to start it under the psychology heading. It's 4th down "Psychology of Strength". The section this article is discussed under, in fact.
I have realized that I obsess TOO much about my form by having way too many cues.
Absolutely. Good insight. When I fist started out doing this I used to 'over-coach- people. It's something I realized was the opposite of helpful.
With technique there is usually some things that are more important than others. What you have to do is hone in on one big thing, work on correcting that which should tend to improve other aspects as well. Then, once that is solved, assess again, pick one big issue, and repeat. When you try to work on multiple little nitpicking things you accomplish nothing. When you identify the over-riding issues and come up with one simple cue to correct the issue..the nitpicking things tend to go away as well.
I have been deadlifting for a long time and have competed on in off for 16 years now. I was ranked in the top 3 in my weight class on powerliftingwatch not too long ago. My point is not to say that I am great, but rather to state that I probably have pretty descent technical execution when I allow it to happen. I am not a beginner, but I treat myself like I just learned how to pick up a barbell yesterday. I need to trust in my motor program and just "let it run."
Yes the time for thinking is over once you pick up the bar. It really is. All this mental preparation has to happen in advance. You also said that you use heavy weights to test your technique after you've made some adjustment. You probably know that this is a recipe for failure and it comes back to the "motor program" you spoke of. Whatever has been working in the past is going to be what tends to take over and some little adjustment you just practiced is not going to make a difference. All you'll really do is try to analyze and adjust something that really cannot be adjusted and fail when you otherwise would have succeeded. So like you implied, you can't use heavy lifts all the time, you have to compromise and spend some time honing in with lighter weights. Like you said, you probably don't have any big issues and you are just obsessing.
Given that lifting heavy and continuing to improve or maintain form are not mutually exclusive! They are just not done at the same time. :)
I still have work to do, but I do think this was a big part of my problem. Lots of conscious thought is okay when you are beginner, but once you have developed efficient technique you have to trust your subconscious mind to execute it and not override it with 3, 4, or 5 cues at the start of the lift.
You are right. It is okay to have very simple verbal cues when approaching a lift. Something simple that you can repeat that represents your big focus at that time. If you keep it down to one or two words you can run this "program" without interfering with the lift at large. But other than that if you are not ready to lift it all the thought in the world ain't going to help. As far beginners the only reason they can get away with more brain noise is because there is nothing to interfere with yet, except learning. It is best for all lifters to approach learning the same way.
Just to clarify, what is described above is my self-diagnosed problem and how I believe I can overcome it. I humbly came here seeking help so please don't think that all of the sudden I see myself as an expert on the psychology of maximum performance in strength sports. I most certainly am not—in fact it has been a weak point most of my athletic career, even in my first athletic pursuit (sprinting in high school and college).
Just the opposite. It means that you are trying to help yourself and did not come here looking for your hand to be held. If you were wrong or I disagreed I'd tell you but otherwise it just makes it easier that you are thinking about and discussing the problem. It is easier for outsiders to see certain things that you are too close to see…even if they themselves would be blind to some of their own psychology.
There is a lot of discussion about 'fear of failure' somewhere on here which probably pertains to this. Maybe we can dig that up.