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About Nick Garcia
Nick Garcia is one of the leading high school coaches in the country. For more than a decade he has served as the throwing coach at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. Garcia is also an active thrower and has been throwing the shot put for the last fifteen years. As a student at California State University Northridge, Garcia was a two-time Big Sky conference champion in the shot put and has continued to progress collegiately. You can find him on Twitter at @nick_g_garcia.
Entries by Nick Garcia
I few weeks ago I posted my first article in the series I am writing for Freelap USA on training with Bondarchuk’s methods. In that article I laid out the basic terms Bondarchuk uses. On Friday Freelap posted my second article, which goes into more detail about how to choose exercises and collect data in the system.
Over the next few weeks I am putting together a multi-part series on Bondarchuk’s training methods for the Freelap USA website. It is my goal to explain setup and application of Dr. Bondarchuk’s system as it was taught to me and how I understand it. Some of this information might be a review session for readers on this site, but I hope the series will also include some new information for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.