Quote from tomsonite
I just got the new issue of LSTJ today, began flipping though it and came across the article "How Strong is Strong Enough?", a study done by Mike Stone and Gavin Moir. It turns out that Dr. Moir is now a professor in the Exercise Science department where I go to school.
I showed him that his study ended up in LSTJ, and he said something interesting. In the last line of the study he and Mike Stone said "you can never be too strong." Dr. Moir then told me that since he published that, he had done further research which indicated that while strength is obviously helpful for athletes like throwers, if a thrower were to make big strength gains quickly, then their coordination could be negatively effected. To quote him directly, "It could take a thrower or other athlete a few months to re-learn their technique with the new, added strength." He didn't have time to go into further details about it, but I may ask him more if I get a chance.
Some of you probably already knew that but I just thought I'd share.
published at Jan 30th 2008 2:01am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Kap
I read the article and, honestly, I don't have much sympathy for this situation. City of Eugene told them in 1995 that they had 10 yrs to find another place and they did nothing?? If a coach was that neglect in the planning/training of their athletes they'd get hung out to dry for that.
Sounds like lots of sour grapes that could easily have been avoided.
published at Jan 30th 2008 2:59am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Andy Bloom
Before I respond, who is tgthrower? Perhaps he has stepped out from behind the pseudonym before and I missed it, but if you are going to present your feelings about someones capabilities and character, then perhaps you should let everyone else have fair shots at your own.
I credit, and have always credited, Criss and Rita tremendously for the direction my career went. My first team was in 1991 and Criss was a coach on that staff. He supported me, offered suggestion when asked, and taught me a great deal. As I grew up in the sport I worked clinics for Criss and was on other teams that Criss and Rita were on. Criss and Rita represent everything that is right with track and field in this country and have NEVER been on any team for selfish reasons. Their drive and desire to be on teams is to provide the athletes with the best possible opportunity and to do whatever is necessary to help. I have seen Criss work tirelessly to help when he isn't on the staff, but is only in town to be with Rita, and I have seen Rita do the same. Through the educational programs they have overseen, they are familiar and comfortable faces for track athletes, not just throwers, in this country.
I can't believe this is even an issue. If you have a problem that Criss is on 2 staffs in a row, that is understandable, and your own opinion. Unless you were on the team in 2004 and Criss did something to you, which I doubt, then let it go. I don't know how many US teams you have been on (if it is 0, you should shut the hell up), but I would have been very happy to have Criss or Rita on every staff of every team I was ever on. There is a short list of coaches who are willing to do everything possible for ALL the athletes, not just those they coach or those that may medal. Some of the best coaches for team situations are the coaches you may never have heard of.
published at Jan 30th 2008 3:03am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from John Smith
I agree with Mike Stone, thier is no such thing as being too strong. I have said this for years. I also agree 100% that for every strenght gain that technique has to be re-worked. I have done this many times with my throwers at the beginning level, Conference level, Ncaa Level, National Level, World level. This is why the thoery of learn technique first, then get strong later does not work well. They should be worked together so the technique changes can be more easily made.
In many countries techniques were designed around power levels. This is why thier are no Timmermans or Kumbernusses around today because the body weight to strenght ratio's were so high that the technique was designed around the power. What they did just simply design a technique around a big block instead of a small block engine.
When i hear people say that throwing far is all technique my answer is, if that was the case then athletes would not be taking large amounts of performance enhancing drugs.
What i have seen over the years is that only a very small percentage of athletes can achieve good technique. It takes great athletes to achieve this. A lesser athlete you can work on technique until they are blue in the face and get very little from it. However strength and specific strength will make any level athlete much better.
The majority of athletes at the high school and college level belong to the average technique club. The more talented athletes can do things on command. Even at the World class level you see throwers with poor technique that throw far.
So as a coach one must decide what is the most important area you will work on with the specific athlete you have in front of you.
published at Jan 30th 2008 3:16am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from tgthrower
I appreciate your concern and comments.
Below is what was posted on The Ring on 1/24. If this is true, and I have confirmed similar stories from other people, it is absolutely sickening on USATF's part and anyone else that was involved in this debacle.
To have several elite athletes come to the defense of USATF and Cris Somerlot is admirable, however these types of politics are inexcusable.
Also, except for those couple of athletes (who I am sure Somerlot has made contact with to garner support about this protest pertaining to his being named to the Olympic Staff a second time) such as other Olympic or National Staff Members and past/present USATF Development Committee Members (especially those who are on the throwing development committee) have come to Chris Somerlot's and USATF's defense. Many of these people also read and post on The Ring. Their silence on this issue says quite a bit.
As stated before this is the typical "modus operendi" for Criss Somerlot - get a couple of elite athletes to defend his case to the USATF and others.
From post on 1/24/08
USATF Olympic Staff Screw Up
It is time to get to the bottom of this nonsense of how the USATF went about picking Cris Somerlot as the "Throws" staff member of the 2008 Olympic Staff.
Here is what I know. This will show how "political" staff choices are and also the sneaky actions of Somerlot.
On Olympic Staff selections the USATF Athlete's Advisory Board has quite a bit of influence. The major problem was that only one male thrower was on the AAB in 2006, when the selections were made (there is still only one male thrower that sits on the AAB).
That athlete was paid by a prominent equipment company to be on their catalog cover. It so happens that, and this is a very important fact, it was the same company that Somerlot was working with at the time. Somerlot "brownied" up to that particular athlete and that athlete nominated Somerlot in front of the AAB. Since all the other athletes on the AAB (mostly distance runners) had no clue about throwing event coaches, they went along with the nomination. Now the next step was before the selection committee - this is where the USATF failure really was monumental. Somerlot was the only "Throws" coach supported by the AAB so they all sat there with their thumbs up their butts and let Somerlot's selection go through! Month's later, when this whole disgusting (and perhaps illegal) process was brought to the selection committee no one had the "balls" to negate Somerlot's selection and make a necessary change.
It also makes me wonder how Gill Athletics, a major sponsor of USATF, feels about Somerlot having influence on the AAB through a competitor equipment company. I'm sure that Gill would have exerted some influence if they had known these improprieties were going on.
Why did Craig Masback suddenly resign as CEO of USATF? Were some of these USATF debacles starting to surface? Was he getting out before the roof caved in?
Because of these massive improprieties by Somerlot, the AAB, and the USATF Olympic Staff Selection Committee, Cris Somerlot should resign his positions as Olympic Staff Member and USATF Throws Development Co-ordinator and allow more qualified candidates to be in those positions. It is the right thing to do.
published at Jan 30th 2008 3:55am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from tgthrower
Also, except for those couple of athletes (who I am sure Somerlot has made contact with to garner support about this protest pertaining to his being named to the Olympic Staff a second time) such as other Olympic or National Staff Members and past/present USATF Development Committee Members (especially those who are on the throwing development committee) HAVE NOT come to Chris Somerlot's and USATF's defense. Many of these people also read and post on The Ring. Their silence on this issue says quite a bit.
published at Jan 30th 2008 4:19am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from w8coach
I will have to respectfully disagree with Mike Stone and John Smith on some points here. First I I have to say that I agree on the claim that an athlete must work on strength and tech at the same time. This is an inevitability if the athlete is going to working on solid positions while moving that are going to have the them be able to resist the increased effects of gravity on their bodies. The additional strength is also used so the forces that are spread over the entire length of a muscle during stretch reflex and the increased muscle size tolerates greater forces.
Strength has always been the fastest way to throw farther. Athletes that can over power the implements and have great physical size voluntarily contract their muscles much moreso than the true technicians. This expalains the performance enhancing drugs, the quick strength fix.
Fewer athletes have good tech as they often opt for the quicker route of pure strength. The true technicians are the athletes that compete at the highest percent of their PR's in almost all meets, and are not the biggest or the strongest(Powel , Wilkins, Delis, Feuerbach)
Lesser athletes are not going to be your world class guys in the first place in almost every example. These athletes need the best possible tech and the most strength to make their modest gains. Agreed, but strength alone is not going to get them there. Why do the world class throwers, with poor tech, still throw far? Strength, I agreee. Could they improve on what they have already achieved, absolutely.
My fear here is that tech seems to be losing its importance in the eyes of a few because strength is easier to gain than tech. While both are important, solid tech is the most dependable aspect of the equation in my opinion.
published at Jan 30th 2008 4:23am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Andy Bloom
What's your last name? Who are you? I don't care what you have done in the sport or who you have coached, but it is difficult to take you seriously and to consider ALL of the people you could have spoken to on this matter if I don't know what your name is.
I was a part of the process to rectify the absence of a throws coach on the 2000 Olympic team staff. In that process I can assure you that the selection committee intentionally denied the coach that the throwers wanted in favor of a coach they wanted. To his credit, Jay Silvester was fantastic and it was my most enjoyable experience working with him over an 8 year period that saw us at odds most of the time (mostly because he didn't think I had any talent and I thought I did). To claim that Criss Somerlot has a "modus operendi" is laughable. Like every other coach who has served on a team, they must be nominated. Usually these nominations come about because the candidate lets it be known they are interested (kind of like those people who are currently running for the nomination for president). Criss may have worked for venue sports/springco, but do you really think he controlled the purse strings and could either entice or threaten an elite athlete (who was probably paid a SMALL compensation for appearing on the cover) to nominate him? Have you ever sat in on an AAB meeting? Exactly what influence do you think one member has? By the way, there is one thrower/member in there because only one thrower wants to serve. I think the distance runners would take offense to the suggestion that they just followed the leader on the selection of the coach and I know the selection committee would. In Beijing, I can promise that those athletes that make it for the first time will be happy that there is an experienced Olympic coach on the staff. There will be screw-ups and obstacles will be put in the way of the athletes. For Adam and Reese, that may not be a problem. They have been there, done that, but for the young thrower going through qualifying and the Olympic Games bs for the first time, it will be HUGELY beneficial to have someone there who has been through it twice before (Rita was on the 2000 staff).
Criss Somerlot didn't elect himself to the position. If you have a problem with him personally, you should look into what he has done for this sport and for throwing. If you are upset because someone you feel was qualified and would have done a good job didn't get the position, I would suggest you follow the appropriate channels and do something. It may surprise you to know that USATF couldn't give a rats ass about what is written on the Ring. If you are qualified to sit on the AAB, go and sit and make a change. If you aren't, get involved with USATF. Were you at the convention? Have you ever gone? Before you call out the people on the selection committee as being gutless and call into question Criss Somerlot's character you should do something more than stirring the pot on the ring. I would also ask around, what other candidates were interested in the position? Were they qualified? Connie Price Smith had to begin coaching teams years ago to be able to be considered and she was a multiple time Olympian, immensely well respected, and the captain of every team I was ever on.
published at Jan 30th 2008 4:29am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Bud Rasmussen
I have served as discus chair for the USATF Men's Development Committee since 2006, during which I have had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Criss and Rita Somerlot.
I'm writing in response to your implication that several current committee members are choosing to remain silent on your "issue" with Criss serving on the Team USA staff for Beijing as some apparent form of disatisfaction/disagreement on our part with the selection. Quite simply, this is far from the case... It's just that most of us are far too busy prepping our athletes for the great challenge of the upcoming Trials and Games in '08. So please understand that I fully back Criss in this matter and wish to echo the recent statements of Adam, Andy, and Coach Mac as my main reasons of support. Trust me when I say that their views accurately represent those of the current US men's throwing athletes that I've encountered the past few years and also clearly state what the actual role of a US Olympic Coach (or other Team USA staff member) during the course of these competitions/trips.
To my knowledge (and certainly in my experience) Criss has always served our nation's throwers unselfishly (and often at his own expense). He's well known for going the extra mile to support our causes (research projects, summits, etc...) and interacts tremendously well with the athletes. Simply put, I don't believe that he deserves this negative attack.
published at Jan 30th 2008 4:48am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Brad Reid
I sort of agree with John Smith and others that all the strength one can muster, all other things being equal, the better.
Here is the way I think of the issue of where strength gains are problematic.
Let's take an elite shot putter... any of our top 5 will do. All of these men use almost every inch of the ring, the occasional foot foul suggests it's a borderline thing on every all-out throw.
So, off to the gym they go and through a regimen of heavy squats (for the base strength aspects) and a regimen of plyos or jumping routines (for the explosiveness aspects), an elite increases his squat by 50 lbs. from 650 lbs. to 700 lbs. And, to this, the elite can now hop up on top of 50" boxes instead of 48" boxes in some sort of jumping routine, so the elite has added functional power too.
So, now the elite shot putter gets back in the ring, say he/she is a rotational thrower, and he/she pivots off the left foot and pushes off -- with the same force always used, at least as it feels to the elite in terms of feedback of the proprioception sort.
But, the added strength and power propel the elite athlete an extra 1" across the ring, an inch he or she doesn't have to spare, so the elite shortens some aspect of the throw toward the end.
It's a domino effect where a tiny seemingly inconsequential thing radiates out to possibly many other things.
It takes time to acclimate to all sorts of changes including size, strength, etc.
published at Jan 30th 2008 4:58am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from tgthrower
Is Rob Lasorsa anyplace out there in The Ring community? He has served on the USATF Throws Development Committee longer than anyone and has seen many people come and go over the years. It would be interesting what his views are on this Olympic Staff subject.
published at Jan 30th 2008 5:43am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from Christian Salas
First, Mac I for one would love it if you posted the A&E segment on Tressa on MacThrows.
Secondly Tressa's story is sad, yet inspirational, especially as she battles back, confronts her demons, and hopefully throws again. It underscores how easy it is for something so seemingly innocuous can sprout into a life altering/endangering condition.
published at Jan 30th 2008 5:58am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from ThomasPetrovich
"Modus Operentdi" seems to be an accurate term for actions of Criss Somerlot. This does not sound like a simple personality conflict among many on The Ring and Criss Somerlot.
Perhaps this has something to do with it. Last year Al Schoterman was scheduled to speak at the Ohio Association Track and Cross Country Coaches Clinic. As many of you know the OATCCC annual clinic is considered to be the largest in the country, attracting up to 1500 coaches each year. Al Schoterman is a brilliant coach and an all around good guy. I think, and I may be wrong on this, that the NTCA was sponsoring Al to speak at the OATCCC Clinic.
In any event, Debbie Moore, the director of the Ohio Secondary School Activities Association, receive an "anonymous" letter claiming that Al should not be allowed to speak because of a drug suspension from 25 years ago.
Without doing any background checking, Deborah Moore contacted the OATCCC Board and told them that if Al was allowed to speak then the Ohio Secondary School Activities Association would not support the clinic. Many of you "Ringers" may remember the outrage that you expressed on this very website about such a ludicrous assault on Al Schoterman.
Of course, no one knows the rest of the story. It turns out that Criss Somerlot was the one that wrote the "anonymous" letter to Deborah Moore. Who knows why he would do such a thing - probably because he was jealous that the OATCCC has never asked him to be involved in their clinic. He has angered too many OATCCC members over the years.
This is the type of person that you want on the Olympic Staff? He has "pooled the wool" over on far too many people.
published at Jan 30th 2008 6:20am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/
Quote from ABG
There will always be two schools of thought on this subject, both sides have strong fundementals and then the arguments are a reach on both sides. Some kids get stronger faster than others for one reason or another so that may end up as the determinate factor.
As for myself I agree with Dave Laut who told me after he had just kicked the Russians asses with a 71' throw. "If I can squat 500lbs; I can throw 70'"
"It is not how hard you throw, it is how you throw hard"
published at Jan 30th 2008 8:56am on http://www.effortlessthrow.org/