My first week back training for the 2014 season, Bondarchuk mentioned something in passing about the hammers orbit he had just witnessed during a throw. I felt it was way too important not to ask follow up questions! Long story short, he basically said based on the orbit throughout the throw, he knows exactly what issues there may be. He’s seen millions of throws from thousands of athletes. And that was before he left Russia! So this was an interesting perspective to me. Akin to Neo “seeing” the matrix code.
I’ve always known the end game of the orbit throughout the throw is not to decelerate, but beyond that I never put much thought into it. This also touches on another key difference in Bondarchuks technical philosophy versus North America’s (for the most part): Dr. B doesn’t coach body parts. Outside of trying to find the most efficient way to enter the hammer, that will most likely be the only time you’ll hear him coach a body part. (It’s important to note the distinction between an observation and actually saying “do this, with this” type of statement.)
From the entry of the throw the goal is to continue the acceleration through the release phase. An even acceleration is optimal. If you notice breaks in the path, this tells you what needs to be worked on. The game is for athlete and Coach to figure out why wayward movements and deceleration are occurring, and fix them. As you may suspect, this works with all throws as they all have clear acceleration paths.
This of couse is a vast oversimplification of hammer technique. But it is a great tool. Kind of like knowing the answer, but you need to show your work to get graded. Showing your work ensures you’re on your way to understanding the concepts.