The past year was a great one for the site. I saw visitors increase more than 50 percent, but more importantly I wrote about some very interesting topics and learned a lot in the process. As 2013 starts, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the top posts from the last year.
- Most popular post: US Olympic Trials Hammer Throw Guide
- Most Comments (27): Ask Martin Volume 17, In Defense of Bondarchuk
- Most Facebook Likes (141): German Federation Supports Hammer in Diamond League
As you can see, many of the most popular posts were about upcoming meets and/or current events in the hammer throwing community. But my favorite posts are the ones that discuss technique and training. These are the posts I read over and over again and keep learning from. Below are is a collection of my favorite of these types of posts from 2012. A complete list of posts can be found here. While a few are free, a cheap and easy membership is required to read many of them.
The last year will be tough to beat, but I have many great posts lined up already for the start of 2013 and will try my hardest to keep improving this site.
My most fun I have on this site is putting together training talks. Not only do I always learn something new, but I also get to interact with some of the great minds in throwing. Hands down my favorite training talks this year were the year-end interviews I did with two-time Olympic medalist Jüri Tamm and Georgia coach Don Babbitt. Both interviews were informative, but in completely different ways. Tamm provided some helpful insight and stories from his two decades atop the international throwing scene. Babbitt, on the other hand, went into some specifics on how he individualizes training to the individual needs of the various throwers in his group. I also sat down earlier in the year for an interview with Adam Nelson about training (where he provided the great quote “Shot putters generate power through action. Hammer throwers generate power through patience”), Erik Cadee about his unique discus technique, Primoz Kozmus, and Kathrin Klaas.
As a tax expert, I obviously love numbers and I spend a lot of time during the year crunching various numbers to see what we can learn from them. This year it was interesting to look at the height, weight, and other statistics from the London Olympics. After talking about identifying talent in May, I had the most fun tracking the careers of former elite youth throwers to see how well youth success translated to adult success in the ring.
My posts on training tend to fall into two categories: posts about Bondarchuk’s methods, and exploring other people’s ideas. Of my many Bondarchuk posts, I found my discussion of tapering (or the lack thereof) very thought provoking as it is contrary to the approach of most other coaches in every track and field event. Another post looked at an interesting correlation a reader found with training implements that go around 60-meters. From my non-Bondarchuk posts I enjoyed the brief chat I had with former hammer thrower Wil Fleming about the Westside Barbell method. I plan to have deeper looks at the Westside method, as well as the methods of Charlie Francis and others next year.
Books and Articles
My favorite of several book reviews was Bones of Iron by Matt Foreman. While the book focuses on weightlifting, throwers can learn a lot and Foreman delivers the knowledge with a great wit and accessibility. I also reviewed several articles throughout the year, the most popular of which was an overview of Koji Murofushi’s article on biomechanics.
I also had two posts that are hard to categorize. The first was about the effect of mental stress on throwing. As a person who spends a lot of time working, this topic was of great interest to me and one I will continue to look at in the future. Another topic was my post with tips on building an indoor hammer throwing facility. With winter in full swing, this may be worth a look for many coaches again this season.