posted on 2-7-2003 at 02:43 AM by tucker
new throws coach
Hi, I am coaching high school discus and shot put this year and have been out of the sport for 15 years!!! I threw in HS and one year in college but have never coached the events. If any of you have advice on practice workouts, new techniques or any other advice, I would welcome the input! Thanks so much.
posted on 2-10-2003 at 05:20 PM by mike
As far as workouts go, I’d definitely try to incorporate some strength work into your program. If you have access to a weight room, do lots of basic movements like squats, military presses, bench presses, and dead lifts. Olympic Lifting (cleans, snatches, etc.) is one of the best things for throwers if you know how to coach the lifts. Keep the reps relatively low, nothing over 8 (unless they need to add muscle mass). Keeping the reps below 8 will ensure you’re working on developing power and strength not endurnace.
If you don’t have access to a weight room, get creative with body weight exercises like pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, single leg squats, etc. Most of these exercises are actually quite easy to make harder by having a partner add resistance.
Medicine ball work and plyometric exercises are also excellent for throwers. As with the weight lifting, you want them to be performed forcefully and explosively and not for endurance or aerobic conditioning.
I’d stay away from doing too much running. Other than maybe some light running in warmup, you probably don’t want to have them running anything over 50m. Some sprints of 50m or less (usually in the 20-30m range) can be a good way to develop explosiveness and speed.
As far as workout design I’d say you should probably shouldn’t throw any one implement more than 2x a week. You can use other days for conditioning, etc. I’d also try to put all technique work early in the training session so that the athletes are not trying to work on technique when they are tired. This will only make technique work harder and they might pick up bad habits as a result of their fatique.
As for technique, I think standing thow position is critical, especially at the early stages of a throwers development. Here is a teaching progression I’ve used with beginners and also top-level throwers to teach and reinforce good fundamentals. I go through the progression and do not proceed to subsequent steps until the current step has reached a relatively high level of proficiency. When we move on to additional steps we continue to use the prior steps but to a lesser degree. Here it is:
1a. Standing 2 hand medicine ball throw- athlete stands facing the direction of the throw and works on keeping the elbows up and thumbs down through release.
1b. Weight transfers- athlete stands facing straight ahead with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and then shifts weight back and forth, so that the weight is completely shifted to one leg. Make sure they keep their butt under their shoulders rather than letting it stick out. It seems very simple but not many athletes are familiar with the concept of weight transfer in throwing.
2a. Same as 1a except this time the athlete bends at the knees and drops their hips and shoulders back. They should try to push the hips forward and accelerate the med ball and only use the arms when their torso is upright. This can later progress to the athlete dropping their shoulders back and turning slightly so that the dominant arm shoulder is lower at the start.
2b. Same as 1b but with shoulder turn to direction of support foot.
3. Same as 2a but with shot / discus. Athlete should hold the implement in one hand and and keep the free arm extended out towards the direction of the throw. An early free arm block and keeping the butt under the shoulders should be emphasized.
4. Power position wi
th no shoulder turn. Athlete stands in slightly wider than shoulder width stance with feet pointed approximately 90 degrees away from the direction of the throw and the feet in a heel-toe alignment. The athlete then shifts their weight back on to the back foot without turning the shoulders (so they stay in line with the feet). The athlete then pushes off the back leg and shifts their weight onto the front leg while turning the hips and shoulders to the direction of the throw. The free arm should again be blocked early and the arm strike should only come after the shoulders are nearly square with the direction of the throw. Emphasize keeping the butt under the shoulders through the whole action.
4. Same as 3 but with shoulder turn at start of the throw. You can have them progress from a 1/4 to a full shoulder turn.
5. Same as 4 but add reversal of feet at release.
6. Spins, glides, hops, step-ins, or whatever technique you want to have them using.
Also, you may want to check out Kevin Magill’s book called “The Throws Manual,” or some of Judd Logan’s films. Also, you may find the following websites useful: http://www.usaweightlifting.org
I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions feel free to ask.