Some things I would do..
Teach the position from many different angles.. using your food in the beginning. So, calling her/him into basic from different angles.. But make it short distances so the dog can be successful.. I'll sit my dogs, then I pivot (take a step 45/90 degrees) to the right and call my dog into position.. or sit the dog and take a step forward and call the dog into basic position..
I would also work against a barrier is the dog is in front, so he/she cannot be incorrect.. Then slowly move away from the barrier..
And lastly, like was stated, make sure you are showing her/him the correct body posture/position..
I somewhat agree with you on not rewarding for incorrect positions, even if the dog corrects it's self. I sometimes wonder if in doing so, they think that that's part of the command?? But then that's where you need to know your dog and what works best!
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