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My most popular training talk was with Dan Pfaff, but I also sat down with many other great coaches.

Looking Back at 2013: Best Training Posts

A lot has changed on this site over the past year. Just before the year started I launched memberships to the site. At the start of 2013 I completely redesigned the site. In November I relaunched the site as HMMR Media and brought on board great content from Kibwé Johnson, Nick Garcia, and HSHammer.com. And to end the year we launched a store which includes custom hammer wires, premium memberships, books, and coaching. All the while our readership has grown, which makes all the work worthwhile. I started this site to help myself and others learn more. With more people joining in the conversation we all benefit.

Looking back at the year, I wrote about a lot of interesting topics. In years past my most popular posts tended to be about current events. But this year training was the popular topic:

But many more were my favorites. Below is a compilation of my favorite training posts from 2013. A HMMR Media membership is required to read many of the articles, so if you haven’t joined yet it is a perfect way to start the new year.
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My 2013 Season in Review

After taking two weeks off at the end of September, I have already jumped back into training for 2014 and the first week is now behind me. During my time off I took some time to reflect on the last season. Whether I make this public or not, this is something I do every year. Some things are more clear in hindsight than they were at the time and everyone must learn from these moments in order to continue to improve in the future.

I had just two goals to start out the season. Unlike many athletes, I do not define my goals in terms of how far I want to throw or what place I want to finish. I simply identify what I need to do to get better and then focus on that. After the 2012 season I was physically in the best shape of my life but I couldn’t translate that into the throw. Therefore my first goal was clear: my technique needed to get better. My only other goal related to my priorities for competitions. Rather than trying to hit a peak for the Swiss Championships, I wanted to shift my peak to the Jeux de la Francophonie this year. Having a later peak allowed me more time to prepare and hopefully reach better performances. With those two goals I started out towards the 2013 season.
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Looking Back on 2012: Best Training Posts

The past year was a great one for the site. I saw visitors increase more than 50 percent, but more importantly I wrote about some very interesting topics and learned a lot in the process. As 2013 starts, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the top posts from the last year.

As you can see, many of the most popular posts were about upcoming meets and/or current events in the hammer throwing community. But my favorite posts are the ones that discuss technique and training. These are the posts I read over and over again and keep learning from. Below are is a collection of my favorite of these types of posts from 2012. A complete list of posts can be found here. While a few are free, a cheap and easy membership is required to read many of them. Read more

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2012 Looking Back

Each year at this time of year I look back on the previous year just completed and as I get older I find myself looking back increasingly over years gone past. I do this not for nostalgic reason rather I do it to gain perspective to more forward. Read more

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Training Talk With Juri Tamm (Part 3)

After two lengthy posts earlier this week, we have finally arrived at the final part of my training talk with two-time Olympic medalist Jüri Tamm. In the first parts, Tamm discussed his own training and thoughts on the sport. In this final part, Tamm focuses on more inspirational matters including how he thinks any male thrower can break 70 meters and how his father was able to find a way to succeed in the pole vault despite having just one hand. Also at the very end you will find a video of his 82.12-meter throw to win the 1985 World Cup in Australia.
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Training Talk With Juri Tamm (Part 2)

Earlier this week I posted the first part of my interview with two-time Olympic medalist Jüri Tamm. After talking about why hammer throw results have fallen off in the former Soviet nations and around the world, he proceeded to talk more about technique, talent identification in the Soviet Union, and his own training with his coach Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Come back later in the week to read the final part of our interview.
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Training Talk With Juri Tamm (Part 1)

The first two names that come to mind when you think about Soviet hammer throwing are Yuriy Sedykh, and Sergey Litvinov. Often overlooked on the podium is Jüri Tamm. Tamm, who also briefly held the world record, won the bronze medal at both the 1980 and 1988 Olympics and the silver at the 1987 World Championships. His personal best of 84.40 meters ranked third all-time during most of his career and still ranks in the top eight and is the Estonian national record nearly 30 years later. In summary, there is no reason he should be overlooked. If he threw in any other era he would have more gold medals and accolades than anyone in history.

Unlike Bondarchuk and Sedykh, who remain active as coaches, Tamm has drifted away from hammer throwing. Since retirement he has found success in business, politics, and sports administration. He served in the Estonian parliment for 12 years and also previously served as the vice president of the Estonian Olympic Committee. This year he began a new role as the chief of staff for world pole vault record holder Sergey Bubka. Bubka is the president of the Ukranian Olympic Committee, a vice president of the IAAF, and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board. Tamm travelled with Bubka to a recent IOC meeting in Lausanne, where I had the chance to meet the legend in person and get him talking about the glory days for a few hours. The first part of the edited interview is below. Visit later in the week to read the rest.
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Atop the podium in Basel. Photo by my coworker René Bettschen.

2011 Season Review

Atop the podium in Basel. Photo by my coworker René Bettschen.

In reviewing my 2010 season, one of my main observations was that I did not build on each meet. Good meets were followed by bad meets and I never gained any momentum. Looking back at the 2011 season, the first thing I see is how I slowly built up my results throughout the course of the year. I reached three levels throughout the year. Level one, from March to early June, saw an average result of 62.57m in four meets (±30cm). Level two, during June and July, saw six meets averaging 64.95m (±66cm). Then, for my last meet, I improved to level three: a personal best of 67.90m. My technique was more stable and that allowed me to build on each meet.

Looking back at the 2011 season, I had some great accomplishments. But not everything went perfectly. As I begin to plan 2012, it is important to see what worked, what didn’t work, and where I can go from here. I already have a general plan for next season, but I will work out some more of the details when I visit Kamloops and sit down with Bondarchuk in a few weeks.

The Good

I was in the shape of my life. In addition to ending the season with a personal best, I also had personal bests across the board in training. My old bests with the 5-kilogram, 7.26-kilogram (competition weight), 8-kilogram, and 10-kilogram hammers were shattered and I was inches away from my bests with the 6- and 9-kilogram hammers.
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