Avoid this common Olympic lifting mistake (made by both coaches and athletes) to improve your clean: When performing the clean remember to pull yourself under the bar, as opposed to dropping under the bar. This has a number of benefits. If you drop under the bar you will put yourself in the position of literally having to catch the falling weight (a difficult trick). As Sage Burgener notes on her blog:
…if you pull yourself under the bar, you can guarantee that there will be no crashing of that bar on your chest and you will receive it in a much more comfortable position.
Additionally, if you pull yourself under the bar you will know precisely where the bar is, allowing yourself the opportunity to receive the bar in a squat of whatever depth is needed (3/4 squat, 1/2 squat, full squat, etc.) instead of being forced to guess and likely overcompensate with a deeper squat than required.
Photo Courtesey of Sebastian Mary