With the forum exchanging debate on the value of the catch in the clean I will bring up the more general discussion, when is something worth it? The whole catch argument is often brought up saying it has no value or it is just a burden. The same can be said for many aspects of training but the underlying point is that training is about a process. Often the benefits of doing something fully add value long term as efforts to cut the fat also cut the flavor. The eccentric action is not vital but overtime the natural harmony of the lift becomes bigger and bigger. You may not see that in a 12 week study but training is often more chronic and such minor details get bigger as the athlete expands his or her capabilities. Dynamic Lat flexibility, ankle mobility, and posture can be train elsewhere but with NCAA and HS restrictions (and athletes being human) we can’t just add more every time. If someone can’t so something it may not be a good investment to add cleans at all but snatches are often easier on the wrist because they are lighter and are caught more neutral.
The athlete also has the opportunity to be coached in the clean. Technique is a great way to keep athletes learning and teaching patience, and the catch has never been an issue unless that athlete has no foundation in training in general. Front squats with a clean style rack and constant push up exposure has fixed all but one of my athletes I have worked with (1 out of 350) in ten years. The flexibility problems are often never addressed as coaches look for the quick fix (easier or simpler exercise) and a good clean is often a sign of a complete program. Don’t sweat the clean, but don’t get lazy or give up too soon. Seasons not sessions.