You feel good. You’ve just finished a great warm-up and you’re ready to begin your training session. You pick up the implement for the first throw, expecting a big distance. Then it happens. Your technique feels way off and the distance is terrible. You’ve started the session negatively and you don’t see how things will get any better.
This situation is familiar to every thrower. Poor throws in training are a reality of our sport. You don’t always know when they’ll hit, but when they do, it’s bad. I’ve certainly dealt with my fair share of bad throwing, but lately I’ve been able to deal with the problem, or at least partially fix it with a few simple tricks. You can too.
1. Split your throwing into two training sessions daily.
On your next training day, try something a little different. Instead of having one long session, split your training into two. Start with a morning session. Chances are that you won’t be throwing too well in the morning but don’t worry.
After the morning session is over, rest for a couple of hours and regain your energy. Then in the early afternoon come back to the circle and throw again. You’ll notice an enormous difference compared to your morning session. Chances are, your throws will feel faster, more powerful and longer. It’s almost magic.
I first noticed the value of twice-daily sessions about a year ago and it’s still something of a puzzler for me. For some reason big throws seem to come more naturally when you’ve already thrown and you come back to the circle for a second session. Give this a try, it will probably make a big difference for you.
2. Be patient during your sessions
All of the throwing events are very rhythmic and technical. They require precision, and this means the smallest things will make a big difference. Throwing technique is a groove you must get into. It takes time to find that groove and that’s why you must be patient during a session.
Unless you’re having a phenomenal day, chances are your first throw won’t be right on. That’s OK. Don’t let this bother you. Just keep throwing and eventually at some point in the session you will find that technical groove. You may not be able to fully get into the groove on that particular day, but keep chipping away at your throwing and you’ll hit it sooner or later.
3. Always train with the correct mindset
Sometimes, no matter what we do, the implement just won’t go far. You need to develop a mindset where that kind of disappointment doesn’t set you off. Accept the reality that you won’t always be able to throw well. It’s not going to do any good letting yourself be bothered. Understand that the bad throwing won’t always continue and you will eventually find the groove.
I understand it’s hard to not let yourself be bothered by bad throws. I struggled with this problem a lot myself, but I now know it’s a learned discipline. Work hard at it and you’ll get better, just like anything else. Be patient with yourself.
Try to make these three tricks a part of your throwing life. The benefits will be huge and you’ll get closer to your goals and aspirations.
Joseph Maxwell holds the Canadian national shot put and discus records in the under-16 class and is author of the video ebook Spin to Win.