Focus is hitting a correct power position and a check to see if you can do it.
I think we can all agree that there is a lot to think about when we Olympic Weightlift, from foot position, start position, hand position, 1st pull, 2nd pull, high elbows, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, if you try and think about everything all at once, not only does the lift slow down but inevitably it turns into something worse than what you started with. So what do you do to improve your weightlifting? Try focusing on just one component of the lift during your weightlifting session.
There are many things that can go wrong in the lift, but we are going to focus on bar path and more specifically what should happen when we reach full extension.
As we accelerate the barbell past the knees you need to be thinking about your hips and the barbell meeting at your power position TOGETHER to create an upward drive (see transition phase picture). In this position your shoulders must be behind the bar – or you will “ kettlebell swing” the bar outward when you drive upward, AND your legs must be bent to allow yourself power for your final drive through full extension.
A very fast check you can do for yourself is add a 1 sec pause at extension (see second pull picture). With this pause you should be balanced, be able hold at extension (at max weight), and be under control. If you cannot hold this position and look like the second pull picture, something went wrong and you can think about it as a missed lift (or magic happened to make it).
Lastly, when you complete these pulls (and any lift in general), apply the correct amount of force in order to complete the task. What this means is if you pull a loaded 185lb barbell as if its 250lbs you will pull yourself out of position and be out of control simply because you applied too much force to complete the task. Think about it like you went around a 35mph corner in a car at 85mph… you crash right? Apply the correct force to do the job so you can hit correct positions and stay in control. This is why when you watch great weightlifters empty bar snatch it looks like their world record snatch.