The Epidemic

A friend recently sent me a video of a competition throw from the 2007 season. Holy crap was it horrendous. Now, I never once said I had good technique. So it is what it is. I knew what my strengths were and I used them. All the while trying to improve my existing technique in training. (And knowing that there was more to me than being an “athlete throwing hammer”). I did realize early on in my career that constant learning and striving for improvement is absolutely required.

So this video got me thinking… I don’t look like that anymore. So what’s the biggest difference?


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6 replies
  1. Glenn McAtee
    Glenn McAtee says:

    Good article, Kibwe. I think lots of hammer throwers started trying to avoid dragging the hammer and wound up without any separation instead. You have to have tension on your trunk (and the wire) when you catch. Then you have to have your shoulders move past your hip axis when you complete your turn. I have heard this described as lead and follow. I think it makes sense: hips lead the shoulders on the down stroke and shoulders lead the hips on the up stroke.

    • Kibwé
      Kibwé says:

      Interesting observation, Glenn. And I totally agree. I think North American hammer technique is largely based on reacting. Reacting to what not to do. Or reacting to what they see in frame by frame pictures.

  2. Taylor Berliant
    Taylor Berliant says:

    Hi Kibwe,

    Thank you for the article. I was wondering if you could please expand on where you say “yada yada” so that I can understand better.

    Thank you,
    Taylor B.

    • Kibwé
      Kibwé says:

      Sure! Catching the hammer at its highest point is also creating the most degrees. The more degrees there are, the longer you’re able to push in double support.
      You would want to push in DS for 10 degrees (just random numbers), as opposed to 2 degrees.

  3. Kevin Becker
    Kevin Becker says:

    Great post Kibwe. When I was in college and immediately after I focused constantly on trying to get an early catch and used the “get the foot down faster” technique. For me, that just made the throw feel choppy and rarely led to a good throw. On my good throws, early catches just seemed to happen on their own. Over time, I’ve come to think getting an early catch is a consequence of the orbit you setup. If the low point is past zero, the high point will be past 180, and so the “natural” place for you to catch will be late. However, if you keep the hammer in a good orbit the early catch seems to come naturally. Just my 2 cents from what I’ve experienced over the years.


    • Kibwé
      Kibwé says:

      Nice to hear you feeling for it. Early catches are a result of pushing the hammer effectively. No push = no catch. Any mental energy put towards body parts for technique, catches, etc, puts the ball in limbo. For lack of a better word.

      Keep it up!


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