I have been thinking a lot about this since our meet this afternoon. I am a bit worried about the sport I am so passionate about and particularly the events I am so passionate about. Read more
The saying goes that you are only as strong as your weakest link. As throwers we use our hands. And if you let your hands break down your throw will two. That’s why the HMMR Media has two great products for hammer throwers and shot putters to protect their hands: the improved HMMR glove and the Rhode Throws shot put glove. Read more
When Martin and I outlined Bondarchuk’s approach to periodization at our seminars in December we received a few comments that, while it sounds great in theory, it could not be implemented in a high school or college setting. College coaches are under pressure to produce results fast, the argument goes, and traditional methods work better over the short-term. Others said that this may work for elite athletes but that high school athletes need to build a better base before moving on to a more complex method that includes emphasis on specific exercises out of season. Last month Derek put together a great comparison of different approaches to periodization, but one thing he didn’t address were arguments like these. Read more
After a year of using the system myself I felt it was time that I go ahead and implement it with some of my high school athletes. I had the perfect candidate to experiment with: a young thrower on my team named Ginika Iwuchukwu. As a freshman and sophomore Ginika had played basketball in the winter and we only had a short time to prepare her for the upcoming track season. During this time I had her on a traditionally periodized training plan and at the end of her sophomore year she had thrown right at 12 meters (39 feet). Looking ahead to her junior year she decided to focus on throwing. Therefore, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to apply Dr. B’s system or what my idea of what the Dr. B. system was. Rather than going into the structure of the program, which Martin has explained and had examples of it up in the past. I will go over the results we got, mistakes I made, and what I am doing differently this year compared to with Ginika over the last two years.
While presenting at GAIN 2014 I got meet several great coaches, including James Marshall from the Excelsior Group in southwest England. He recently asked me to write a guest post on his blog about weight training for throwers. You can visit his blog here or read the post below.
I like numbers. In an interview in February I said the technology I use and profit from the most is Microsoft Excel. I guess this explains why I work in tax, but even in training I am constantly analyzing the data I get out of my own training and of my athletes. Numbers are the feedback that is easiest to work with.
Historical data is also quite rich. This week I decided to do an analysis of the top 100 male shot putters of all-time. That is every person to every break 21.12 meters or 69 feet 3.5 inches. What I was interested in was the age at which athletes reached their personal best. After looking at the data, I saw three clear points emerge.
Back in January I wrote about how I will give several presentations at Vern Gambetta‘s The Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network (GAIN) program this summer. A few weeks ago Vern announced the compete week-long schedule for the event, which will take place from June 17th to 21st. This year’s program will include top track coaches like Vern, Gary Winckler, Vince Anderson, and Steve Magness. Also there will be Oregon strength coach Jim Radcliffe and many other specialists in training, sports medicine, and physical education.
I will present on three topics. Here is a little about each one:
The coaching roundtable on Olympic weightlifting started last week off by discussing lifting variations and lifting technique with some top Olympic lifting coaches. For this final part I thought it would be best to hear from throwing coaches and see how they actually implement Olympic lifting in their training plans. I was able to talk to two of the top coaches in America, Don Babbitt and Dan Lange, to get their input on the topic.
Don Babbitt has been the throws coach at the University of Georgia for eighteen years in which his athletes captured 12 NCAA titles, and 68 All-American honors. Chris Hill (javelin) and Jenny Dahlgren (hammer) also set NCAA records under his guidance. In addition, he has worked with athletes like Olympic champion Adam Nelson (shot put), Reese Hoffa (shot put), Breaux Greer (javelin), Jason Tunks (discus), Brad Snyder (shot put), Andras Haklits (hammer) and many other international champions.
Dan Lange has the honor of being the only living American to have coached an Olympic hammer throw champion. In 24 years as throws coach for the University of Southern California, Lange’s athletes have won 8 NCAA championships and 58 All-American honors. His most successful athletes have been Balazs Kiss, 1996 Olympic champion and NCAA record holder, and Adam Setliff, who he worked with post-collegiatelly as he qualified for two Olympic finals in the discus. Lange also worked with Kevin McMahon for a season.
Olympic weightlifting is an essential part of training for all throwing events. But as with any component of training, getting the most out of it requires knowing how to implement it properly in training. This week we have put together a coaching roundtable on Olympic weightlifting. In Part 1 we heard from weightlifting coaches Greg Everett, Matt Foreman, and Wil Fleming about what variations of the Olympic lifts are best for throwers. In part 2, the three coaches provide their input on weightlifting technique. The series will conclude later this week with some thoughts from throws coaches about how them implement Olympic weightlifting in training.
After actually throwing, most coaches regard Olympic weightlifting as the most important training exercises for throwers. The clean, jerk, and snatch provide a great method for developing explosive strength that can often transfer into better throwing results. With many variations of the lifts, there are many exercises to choose from ways to implement them into training.
Over the next week we will ask many top coaches about the use of Olympic weightlifting for throwers. In the first two parts we will ask for the input from weightlifting coaches on technique, variations of the lifts, and other comments. Then in the final part we will also ask a few top throws coaches about how they implement Olympic weightlifting into training.
The Lifting Coaches
Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, and director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting. I subscribe to the Performance Menu and can highly recommend both that and the Catalyst Athletics blogs as great resources for Olympic weightlifting.
Matt Foreman is the football and throws coach at Mountain View High School in Phoenix. A competitive weightlifter for twenty years, Foreman is a four-time National Championship bronze medalist, two-time American Open silver medalist, three-time American Open bronze medalist, two-time National Collegiate Champion, 2004 US Olympic Trials competitor, 2000 World University Championship Team USA competitor, and Arizona and Washington state record-holder. He currently writes regularly for The Performance Menu and the Catalyst Athletics webpage. I read and highly recommended his book Bones of Iron two years ago.
Wil Fleming is the co-owner of Force Fitness and Performance and Athletic Revolution Bloomington, in Bloomington, Indiana. He recently released the DVD Complete Olympic Lifting. Prior to working as a coach Wil was an all-American hammer thrower, school record holder, and Olympic Trials participant at Indiana University as a hammer thrower. As a junior athlete, he was an Olympic weightlifting resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center after winning a junior national championship. He also blogs about weightlifting at WilFleming.com.