HMMR Podcast Episode 98: Chalk Up (with Reese Hoffa)

Olympic medalist and two-time world champion Reese Hoffa recently retired as perhaps the top shot putter of this century. His longevity and consistency helped him set a record with 138 competitions ever over 21 meters. Since retiring, he has focussed on building up his own throws academy. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss what helped give him such a long and successful career. In addition, we discuss transitioning to youth coaching, how to individualize technique, building athlete ownership and more.

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To start off the episode, we talked about Hoffa’s newest venture, why he wanted to start coaching kids, and what he’s learned in the process:

Professionals are already dedicated. The real challenge is working with kids and instilling that. Click To Tweet

Lifting, specific strength, and lessons he learned over his career were also topics we covered. Hoffa took a very meat and potatoes approach, demonstrating the value of cumulative gains:

As long as you are doing some type of lift consistently, you're going to be strong enough. Click To Tweet When you're 40 you can't lift like you're 20; lift like a 40 year old & choose your punches. Click To Tweet

We also discussed several points regarding technique, including how to individualize it and the importance of giving athletes ownership over technique:

You can learn from others technique, but be a chameleon and plug it into YOUR technique. Click To Tweet Don taught me the general technique, and then he started pulling back and giving me ownership. Click To Tweet

To hear more from Hoffa, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.

Further Reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

  • You can learn more at our upcoming seminar in London on May 20 with John Kiely and myself. We will discuss topics like periodization, performance, planning, and more in detail, including real world examples of smart planning in practice. Just this week we posted an interview with John to preview the topic. Registration and additional details can be found here.
  • You can learn about the Hoffa Throws Academy at their website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
  • Hoffa was coached by University of Georgia coach Don Babbitt, who I interview in 2012. In our chat he discussed, among other topics, how to individualize an athlete’s technique.
  • Hoffa was also a long-time training partner of 2004 Olympic champion Adam Nelson. Nelson was a guest on Episode 42 and I also interviewed him in 2012.
  • One notable point from the episode was how little he Olympic lifted. For more on this topic listen to Episode 23 with Arizona Cardinals strength coach Buddy Morris or read Vern’s recent post on the topic.
  • You can also more from Hoffa about non-training topics in his interview with the House of Run podcast
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