Don Babbitt is one of the world’s best throwing coaches, having produced champions across every event and both genders. In addition to his role at the University of Georgia, he has been working with the IAAF on their recent biomechanical analysis of the 2017 World Championships. By adding a coach’s perspective, he can help identify key points to take away from the project in all throwing events. On this week’s episode we break down the report what its findings mean for coaches.
Notes and quotes
Babbitt has worked with some of the world’s best throwers over the past 20 years, including Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, Breaux Greer, Jason Tunks, and Andras Haklits. His main job is as associate head coach for the University of Georgia track team, which recently won the NCAA championship. In addition, he works with the IAAF as editor of throwing content.
- 5:00 – How has biomechanical research affected coaching
- 10:00 – Making sports science research actionable.
- 11:30 – Learning from variation in athletes and variation between throws.
- 16:00 – Defining styles in the shot put and what happens in the middle of the ring: “Certain people from certain countries tend to throw and move same way. It’s almost there is a national style of doing things. “
- 23:00 – Shot put delivery phase analysis.
- 25:15 – Finding the best technical model for your athlete, and adapting training to fit your model. “Don’t limit yourself to coaching one style of throwing. You should be open to understanding movement and there are a variety of different pathways to developing power and it will give you more options. “
- 28:15 – Double support in the hammer throw. “It’s not always about how much double support time you have in the hammer throw, but in how you use it. “
- 31:45 – Angle of release in the hammer throw. “A steeper angle of release can help in the hammer throw as you saw with Fajdek in 2017. But it is like playing with fire. If things go wrong, they’ll go very wrong.”
- 34:00 – Impressions on the javelin biomechanics report.
- 38:15 – Comparing men’s and women’s biomechanical data: “Do women need to throw exactly like the men? Biomechanically the answer is not clear.”
- 41:15 – Is technique getting better? Where is technique heading?
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on our site, including past episodes of the podcast, our deep article archives, video library, and more.
- If you like the podcast, don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches.
- The complete IAAF biomechanical analysis from the 2017 World Championships is available for free on the IAAF Research homepage.
- Babbitt was also a guest on Episode 116. You can learn more about Babbitt’s background from the University of Georgia webpage. Babbitt sat down for a lengthy interview on individualization and other training topics back in 2012.
- Two of Babbitt’s most successful athletes have also been guests on the podcast before. You can hear from Reese Hoffa on Episode 98 and Adam Nelson on Episode 42.