Brian Oldfield (USA) "The Big O" and all that involves

  • Brian Oldfield via Facebook July 17 at 10:15am · I would like to discuss the South African as an element of the liner method of throwing either shot or discus. This pathway is achieved best facing the center of the landing sector (this means your toes , hips , shoulders) . The right-handed thrower places his left-foot […]

  • August 15, 2014


    I just was reminded of how I took that step into rotational throwing. I was having a good day at practice . It was Jan. of 1974 and the season was going to open in two weeks. I was still gliding at the time and hit 72' that day with my right hand and a standing throw of 53' with my left. I was feeling pretty good about training and went into the UTEP track office for a coke . I was training in El Paso that winter and had wanted to throw discus in the ITA professional circuit to make extra cash. The soda gave us a sugar/caffeine buzz and we went back out to throw the discus . I jumped into the circle first ; it was getting dark early that time of year and time was on the wing. My first throw without warm up caught my heel and I tore my cartilage. I heard it pop but paid little attention to it continuing to throw .. After the discus we all went in the gym to play basketball . I was starting to feel the pain by then but was having to much fun to stop and limped on. It was later that night I got worried as it started to hurt when I laughed. I made arrangements the next day to see a Doctor in California. The season was two weeks off and I had a peripheral tear in the medial cartilage of my right knee. I had no choice but to wrap it up and spin for the rest of the season. The first meet was in Baltimore , I threw 66'1" and got second with a cast on my leg from my groin to my heel . I never won a meet that year but still managed a 69' 4" P.R. with the spin. I did learn to throw using my left foot out of the S.A. position & sweeping my right leg around and pirouetting on the toe of my casted right leg and posted on my left at the toe board. I had surgery June 4th and quit smoking the same day.

  • August 17, 2014


    I started to think about some of the throwers who lived and trained in the San Jose, Cupertino area around that time and it reads like a who's who of the worlds best. In addition to Brian, Al, Mac and John; there was Art Burns, Ben Plucknett, Mike Buncic, Greg Tafralis, Jim Doehring, Bruce Kennedy, Ed Burke, Richard Marks, Carol Cady.


    I'm sure I missed others. Fill in the blanks.

    August 17, 2014


    Pete Shmock, Lahsen Akka Samsam, Bruce Jenner, Joe Keshmiri, Fred Samara, Maren Seidler.....not to mention all of the local talent Ron Mckee, Bob Feuerbach, Bob Gummerson, and....so on....Mike Weeks, Ian Pyka, Ron Semkiw.....

  • August 17, 2014


    Hey Al, love to hear your comments on the development of your technique, especially the 90 degree turn of the right foot and the passive left arm. Did you fix your eyes on something to keep your head back and create separation between shoulders and hips? Any flexibility exercises?

    August 17, 2014


    Jed , my abbreviated answers. My 90 degree foot turn evolved without a thought to it...I'm bow legged..so that worked to create better efficiency for me , but it will not work for everyone. (knock knee'd throwers)....passive left arm....the key is to relax those body parts that are not 'active' at the moment...the left arm 'works wonders' at the 'transfer of power' / 'release' phase. My eyes were fixed on nothing, my feelings were internal, not external, as I prepared to throw. In training it's ok to teach a thrower to fix their eyes on something, just as you will have to think...think...think...your way to better technique through endless repetition...in training....but....you will only experience better technique when you no longer have to...think about it..... in competition....

    August 17, 2014


    I'm bow legged too and tried to keep my knees together when ever I threw or ran. I got stronger & faster as my training progressed my legs/knees/hips became tighter and later returned to the bowed positions. Ben plucknett was a good example of working hard and slimming his hips and throwing farther because of his trimming down a pant size.

  • September 1, 2014


    I just remembered a job I had in junior high as a bus boy at the Elks Club . My sister got me the job where she worked on weekends as a waitress . It was there that I learned to carry the try over my shoulder and pivot with my spine as the axis not disturbing any of the dishes and glassware back & forth , in and out of the kitchen through the swinging door. I remember using this awareness when I held the shot during the early days of spinning. I was able to keep the shot isolated in the pocket behind my ear keeping it from pulling out to the right or sliding down in front. I didn't want to foul by letting the shot separate centrifugally from the neck. I didn't want to injure my bicep tendon or drop any dishes...

  • September 5, 2014


    It's the time of year that I took more time working on technique . I always found myself lighter and weaker by the end of summer. I always had something I wanted to improve on for the next season. This is the time of year to take a pragmatic look at your training program . You reestablish your base in weightlifting, find that extra time to examine your mechanics/technique in throwing. I trusted a system of throwing weighted shots; the heavy ones taught me position(s) and pointed out weaknesses along the pathway , the lighter shots tested my concept and gave me a peak into the future. I use a 22#, 20#, 19#. 18#, 17#, as heavy shots(I only threw the 16# in meets) I used a 15#, 14#, 13#, 12#, 11#, 10#, 9#, 8# as light shots. I received a an average improvement 2' to 2.5' with the heavy shots and 2.5' to 3' with the lights. I think for example : I threw 69' with a 16' and 91' with an 8.8' in a clinic for elite athletes in November. We were being tested for several days educationally for the 1984 season coming up. The speed across the circle was the same with either weight and angle & height of release were the same. The only difference was the distance was 3' a pound improvement . This was similar to what I experienced in training and allowed me to take many extra throws in a secession . I even used a 4# shot to see the difference between the potential of the glide and the spin. The glide seemed to hit a wall at three feet per pound while the rotation/spin technique delivered 5' a pound . I read a report on the energy generated in the different throwing events place the hammer as first, the discus was next and the glide was third ahead of the javelin ...


    September 5, 2014


    A younger athlete in your opinion should or should not use a heavier shot in practice? How about if they are strong upper and lower body but still young in age and experience?

    September 5, 2014


    Dennis, I improved in throwing as I reached the same bracket of strength that other greats in the sport had accomplished. I always was tall & weak for the longest time . I could throw a baseball , snowball , rock as good as others but it was a slow crawl to the top of the heap in shot putting. I had to find my speed , my strength both lower & upper body , while maintaining the feel for what came natural. There are throwers who lift and lifters who throw. I was afraid of squats until I finally sat completely down and learned it was safe. I first started getting low as a thrower then as a lifter always considering throws and the best position for throwing. I found that the front squat was very unpopular and heard many excuses on why athletes didn't like them. I then needed to know and started at the bottom . I used a rack for posture and soon was able to front squat with out it . This latter became my dominate squat and it carried over into my throwing technique.


    September 5, 2014


    question...you were able to throw all the weighted shots the appropriate distance...for example the 20 went 65 , 16 went 75, the 12 went 85...or there about..anyway my question is some of the big throwers did not have the pick up needed, they would say get the 12 to go where it should, follow with the 14 going where it should then pick up the 16 and have a huge drop off...why is that? these guys were strong enough, big enough and have great technique, but could throw all the weights BUT the one most important one

    September 5, 2014


    Rob, every athlete has a glitch in their training or in their training compared to the meet technique. I did and took many throws in warm ups to get some practice at the same level of energy as a competition. The day I threw 75' I warmed up to 74' and for the first time saved it for the meet. Demons exist In your technique, in a distance, or a weightlifting break through asking a pretty girl to dance...


    September 5, 2014
    A great commentary on training methods. I am curious about your take on practicing and fouling in an apparent casual way. My experience is that if you don't practice "foul" conscious, when it comes to big meets, the fear of the foul alters technique. Your thoughts?

    September 5, 2014


    I didn't practice fouling I just stepped over ,(one step out rule) whatever I stepped out on in practice I could stay in on during a meet. It was my system and save the banging of my toes into the toeboard.

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