2015 Off Season Coaching With: Jeff Gorski

In general, I look at the year in 3 phases: fall is the time to get fitter and correct technical flaws from last season- that (correct flaws) is the main thing I want to do in fall; Winter is for ingraining and making technical corrections the "new normal" and improving special/throwing power and speed; Spring/competition season kinda speaks for itself- stay healthy, perfect technique and plan peaks for important meets.

Who do you coach?

I work with several elite HS throwers in our Kultan Keihas Project- an elite HS development program funded by National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (the group that runs the New Balance HS national indoor and outdoor meets); I also work with Barry Krammes, a 79m guy who I've helped since 2008 as well as the national record holders from Guatemala and I've helped/advised several young throwers from around the globe: Cayman Islands record holder and 2013 PanAm junior champ, just had a junior guy visit me from Australian last weekend and various other athletes who email me video clips to review and comment on.

Where do you train?

I have my own facilities to work at: a 20m runway w/ net, med ball/weighted ball platform and wall and a 500sq ft gym/weightroom at my home as well as a 30m runway and 140m long field to go throw at that is about 5 miles from my home. There is also a park a mile or so down the road with a full football sized field I use at times for light runway or throwing work. Schools have gotten so buttoned down about access and use, mainly because of liability issues that even with a $1,000,000.00 liability policy for me/my club I seldom get onto university runways, so I'm glad I built my own places to train 15 years ago.

What is the core of your off-season training goals, philosophy?

Answered earlier- main goal is correct technical problems, then develop fitness base w/ lots of reps of special power work and technical drills.

Do your athletes throw in the off-season? If so, what is the goal of the throwing?

I think you must throw all year around. Fall is important to get in lots of reps of easy (50-70%) throws from many length runups to 1st correct mistakes, then ingrain the corrected movements into what should now be "normal" for the coming seasons. Also lots of throws without the javelin: FinnJavs, med balls, weighted balls, vortex footballs, even rocks.

What weight lifting exercises do you focus on? Does that change during the competitive-season?

I'm much more concerned with throwing/special power almost all year, so lifts are usually those with a pretty high co-relation to improved throws from improved lifts: pullovers, twisting w/ weight plate, "skin the cat" snatch, jump squats, snatch squats, and various shot throws. I tend to shy away from "traditional" lifts most of the time and pushing big weights in clean, squat and bench is for more experienced throwers who have come close to maxing out the benefits of special power work. I think it's too easy and a bit of a "cop out" to just send athletes to the gym to get big and strong- if you can't apply all that power correctly, all you do is improve the ability to make you mistakes bigger.

Are you going to try anything new this off-season? If so, what?

It always depends on the individual athletes- I'm pretty good at making up drills or exercises to address a flaw or mistake and, while some may have value to use it with others, it only can help if it's for correcting a similar flaw or weakness, either physical or technical. I have found a lot of benefit to "assisting" throwers thru crossovers to block with elastic cords, like what sprinters use to get towed for over speed work.

Are you using any new equipment?

I like the FinnJavs a lot for low stress/high aerodynamic feedback in training for the last year or 2. Otherwise, only for my personal training.

Is there anything you would like to do but cannot? Such as?

I wish I had regular access to an indoor facility for throwing/running work. Otherwise, I do OK with what I've got and built. And the ability to be flexible in training, given the weather conditions that day.

Do you take your group to warm weather training?

I live in a reasonably warm climate in NC. Plus, given I am the sole caregiver for my quadriplegic wife, travel is very limited, as are funds- I can't load up the gang and head to Key West, as much as I'd like to do so.....

When do you plan to compete again?

Me? Never... My HS kids will hit their usual schedule, but most of my top girls are from states w/out HS javelin programs (Cali, Mizzu & Iowa) so they'll throw in open meets for their clubs in April and on.

What do you do to relax? Brew beer; read; fish; play with our monster dog (40k pit bull/lab mix... more like a kangaroo/wolverine mix!!!) and garden/landscape

Vacations planned?

Not really.... not a real option with my wife. We do travel to the camps and clinics I run, and we always spend a few extra days at those locations so I can take my wife shopping at new places or do some site seeing.

What do you do to for your own fitness/ health?

I have that wonderful gym I built for my own use over 25 years ago, so i lift a good bit- mostly circuit work at pretty high reps (20 or more); I walk with the dog or alone- I used to do quite a bit of running, mostly interval speed work but the time I spent early after my wife's injury really reduced the time I had to run and my body can't handle that stress not, as I've lost that base. I also will throw med balls and shots or weighted balls.... a lot of the stuff I did when actively training to throw, just at a reduced level.

What are your goals for 2015 and 2016?

I'd like to see Barry on the podium @ USATF champs/Trials and our HS kids equal or better the national results they produced last year. Our girls were #1, 3 & 5 in the HS All American team in 2014 and they were all just sophomores when they did that. I think there is a chance for 1 or more of them to challenge the current HS record- set by one of our 1st program athletes

Replies 1

  • A bit of an update.... just got this email this morning from the above mentioned "junior guy"...
    Hi Jeff,
    Alec Stimson again, the skinny boy from Australia.
    Our track and field season finished this week with a school knockout tournament which our school won the state title for in the Senior Boys age group. After coming back from injury in early February, I broke my 50.00m PB in my second competition, throwing it over 54m. This throw was a qualifier for the National Junior Championships in Sydney. I went into this competition in good form with the 800g throwing consistently in the low 50’s the week before, feeling as though I could break my PB if everything went right. Well, it most certainly did, on a stormy Sydney March afternoon I broke my PB of 54m, four times throughout my six attempts, building on my best with each throw with my best throw being 57.66m which guaranteed me fourth position after qualifying for the final three throws in fourth. So improving over seven metres throughout the season, I felt was a great achievement and a lot of that improvement can be put down to that one morning I had with you in December.
    My PB’s did not stop with just the 800g, I still threw the 700g twice this year for school competitions as in some of them it is still the junior weight. My PB was 56.31m which I threw 18 months ago, but I bumped it up to 59m at my school Sports Day and later at this school knockout tournament (Monday, May 4th) I well a truly broke the 60m barrier throwing 66.08m (in only a three throw competition). I will send you the video of this throw when I receive it. This throw has given me great confidence for next season and making that World Junior qualifier not so unrealistic.
    Over our winter, I am about to get into some hypertrophy of some sort in the gym while having a break from throwing for a little while. Could you please give me any feedback re my winter throwing? My first competition will be in late Septemeber.
    Looking at next year I am interested in coming over to the US again for your winter camp in January (have you set any dates as yet?) to try and set me up for the National competitions (both junior U/20s and open) in March. I will keep in touch over the coming months.
    I hope your family is well and all of your throwers are throwing far.

    With thanks,

    Alec Stimson

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