Entries by Nick Garcia

Coach-Athlete Expectations

Fortunately I am tied into the sport of track and field very tightly, both through my close friends in the sport and because I follow it very closely as a fan. Each year there are a few coaches and athletes who decide to part ways for various reasons. Usually it is due to a difference in philosophy, but not necessarily a training philosophy. Often it is a difference philosophy about how life should be lived. So I began to think about and it gave me a few questions to think about. All of these questions seem very simple but can complicate things a great deal in an athlete/coach relationship.

3 Lessons to Learn from Bondarchuk

Today Joel Smith posted an interview I did with him recently. Martin and I got to meet Joel Smith at our Berkeley seminar last December. He is a strength coach at the University of California, Berkeley and also runs a training website called Just Fly Sports. Earlier this year Martin sat down with him and focused on transfer of training. My interview looked deeper at at how I learned the Bondarchuk method, what others can learn from it, and also some of the other systems I use in training and what I find optimal there.

Lessons Learned from Beijing: Numbers Don’t Lie

Many of the other authors on HMMR Media have taken a look back at the world championships. Vern looked at what led Ashton Eaton to a new world record. Kibwé reflected on his own performance. And Martin looked at an interesting connection between first round fouls and making the finals. I wanted to answer a simple question: which country performed the best. So Martin and I compiled some statistics to help answer that question.

Do the Shoes Matter?

When I began throwing the shot in 1997 I pretty much knew nothing about the sport, what shoes to wear, whose technique to copy, etc. I just did what I was told to do by a coach who was there probably once a week. Proof of this is the fact that my first pair of throwing shoes were the classic turquoise, orange, and beige Nike Zoom Rotationals. These were obviously too fast and too advanced for a beginning thrower, especially a glider in the shot put. I was fortunate enough to have a solid Junior College coach Jeff Dunn. He was not well versed in relation to the rotational technique so we stuck with the glide even at 5-foot 7-inches tall.

Addressing a Recent Challenge

Recently I was challenged. I was challenged by a long time friend to step up and coach at the college level. He said “I talk the talk” by all the stuff I have recently done on HMMR Media in regards to the blog and podcasts so why don’t I “walk the walk.” This basically stemmed from when I was a younger thrower and coach and would get upset with guys who self promote them selves on the internet. Although it is true that those type of guys upset me back then, I feel I take a different approach to how I put out information. At least I try to take a different approach.

Determining the Length of Your Hammer Wire

Seventeen years ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Cal State Northridge and compete for coach Glenn McAtee. While at Northridge coach McAtee instilled in us a blue collar work ethic. Our group of throwers were jacks of all trades. We built and fixed everything that needed it. This included plyo boxes, shot put, discus, javelin, hammer, and med ball storage. We fixed our cages, installed the nets, and chalked/painted our own arcs and sectors. We even built our own shot wall out of railroad ties.

Progressing the Developing Athlete

While I coach the throwers at Notre Dame High school, my main role is actually as head strength coach for the school’s athletic teams. From baseball to water polo I get to work with hundreds of athletes each year at a critical time in their athletic development. For the vast majority athletes this is the first time they have seen the inside of the weight room or done any supplemental work. Therefore it is critical start out on the right foot. This is the topic I focused on for my presentation at GAIN 2015 last week.

Season Training Plan Video

Over the course of last season I was asked to put together a weekly video journal that tracked my team’s training and progress throughout the season. Championships Products has just compiled them and released this as a resource for coaches to learn from.

A Grand Solution

A week and a half ago I went on a major rant about how poorly the throws are treated and how the majority of coaching in the throws at the high school level is very poor. However, I did not go over what could be a solution. I put a lot of thought into how we as a throwing community could rectify each and every problem we have experienced at a meet and this is what I came up with.