Posts by JIsurfer

    It's been really fun watching her grow and improve. My wife teaches her, so she we've formed a little bond through that. What's amazing, is that this was her first full season throwing with the Spin technique. Being a native Charlestonian too, it's even more exciting to see her blossom and take her talents to such a prestigious program. She's one of the hardest working kids I've ever met. She randomly does sets of push ups in class, when she's done with her work. The "normal" kids in the class don't understand that drive and determination. Wish her the best.

    Never had a coach my entire throwing career. What I did have, was a picture of Ramona Pagel in the back of the circle, getting ready to glide. Saw that, and ripped it out of a book in the Library my 10th grade year of high school. It was that picture that showed me, I needed to keep my elbow up, instead of down. From there, it inspired me to read more books and get some VHS tapes about the throws. I'll never forget the day I actually met her at a track meet, my FR year of college. Got me a t-shirt autographed by her, still have it up in my house to this day.

    Yep, the highland games are a fun and useful "off season" training tool. We sometime mess around with them in practice, just for fun. I've had several athletes that went on to compete in the games and still do, long after graduating. One of my former female athletes just placed 4th or 5th at the World Championships. I set up a training program for her, based off of what we do (ie periodization and over/under weight training), she ended up hitting 4 PRs (there are 7 events) at the competition. There's been quite a few top level athletes that compete in the games; Valerie Adams, Summer Pierson, Adriane Wilson, Brian Oldfield, Connie Price-Smith, Geoff Capes, Petur Guðmundsson, the list goes on...

    A better question, how do you train 11 athletes in 3 events, as a less than part time coach? I
    coach at an extremely small D1 school. I hold practice, after I get off from my full time job, so 12+ hr days are nothing for me, been doing it for 12 years. Practices usually only last 2-2.5 hrs (4-6ish), depending on how the athletes do. The winter hours are tough, so I've got construction lighting and usually pull my truck up to the circle. I often wonder what it would be like to be at a program that could pay me to be full time, give me money to recruit with, and money for equipment. Luckily, I threw for the same program in college, so I know how to fix implements and create useful overweight/underweight implements in my garage.

    Since we are a small program, most of my athletes are developmental and walk ons. They have a general knowledge of an event, 1 or two are state champions, and nobody knows what a Hammer is. I spend most of our time with Hammer to begin, since most don't know it. We still alternate between the other events as well. Once we get into the actual competition season, I set up our training on a schedule of alternating days, with two days a week, working on two different events, usually Monday and Wednesday. For each athlete, I went through and counted the number of days they train in each event, with overweight and underweight training, just to make sure there's not too much of a discrepancy between each event, as well as making sure not to have 11 kids in one circle for a training session (which can be very hard). It's never exactly the same amount, but usually w/n 1 or two practices. Since I found this method and worked the kinks out, we've had some decent success, even making it to the national level.

    Even though I've been coaching for 12 years, I still try to learn and pick up from folks, as much as possible. I never had a coach in high school or college, so I'm figuring most of this stuff out on my own, but have had some help from some great coaches. If anyone has any further ideas, I'd love to hear them. Other than, go somewhere else (which I hear often)...