Posts

10 Reasons to Watch the Hammer Throw in 2017

It’s that time again. The international season is about to start up and I’m eager to see the best throwers get back in the ring. As I do every year, I’ve compiled a list of the top reasons to watch our sport’s most exciting event in 2017. Read more

A Doping Primer

Anyone who knows me or has regularly read this blog or followed me on social media knows that I am vehemently anti-drug. So, it may seem strange to have a post on a primer for drug use and how to beat the system but I think this will give you context for looking at the issue. This is what I have seen up close and personal in my 48 years of coaching how athletes and coaches beat the system. Read more

Looking Back at 2016: Top 10 Hammer Throwing Stories

As is the case every year, 2016 was filled with highs and lows in the world of hammer throwing. World records were set, and former record setters athletes were banned. New athletes arrived, and old athletes retired. The Olympic men’s hammer final lacked some luster, but overall the year more than lived up to my expectations. Below is my list of top hammer throwing stories from the past year. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 80: Nick Rants Again

Every few months we need to let Nick blow off some steam or he will explode. On this week’s episode we share some rants based on the latest news and trends in sports. We look at offseason training, social media, the bench press, proposal by European Athletics to improve track and field, and the role of strength coaches in the NCAA. Read more

What Can the IAAF Learn from Cycling

My father is an amateur cyclist and, as a result, I grew up spending every July watching the Tour de France. Each time a doping or corruption scandal rocked the sport, I was thankful I competed in a cleaner sport: athletics. We had dealt with our doping issues in the 1980s, I naively thought. Sure, there were still dopers in athletics, but we were ahead of the cyclists. I even wrote an anti-doping editorial for the Seattle Times as a young athlete in 2000, and was convinced by those in my sport that the doping problem was improving. Read more

Who Will Be On the Rio Podium in 10 Years?

Over the past week new Olympic medalists were crowned in track and field. We’ve seen dramatic performances, amazing back stories, and new stars emerge. But while the competition on the field has finished, unfortunately the results have not yet been finalized. Read more

Let the “Games” Begin

As the games begin I run the gamut of emotions from the excitement of seeing the best of the best go head to head to deep despair and disappointment. As young coach in 1972 and 76 the Olympics was pure excitement, it was in my mind the pinnacle of athlete excellence. I trained with some Olympians and getting to see them in the big show was special. I got to go to Montreal as a spectator. It was so exciting I was like a kid in a candy store I was oblivious to the politics going on. I was there, I went to the practice track every day from day literally from dawn to dusk until track & field competition began. When the competition began I would watch the warm-ups at the practice track and run to my seat in the stadium for the competition. What an inspirational learning experience. It was heady times for a naïve young coach who thought it was all about technique and training and good coaching. Little did I know what was to come? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 61: Anti-Doping (with Pierre-Jean Vazel)

We are less than a week from the start of the Olympics. But rather than talking about the athletes, the main story continues to be doping. More specifically, the topic is the failure of the current anti-doping systems. On this week’s podcast we bring on guest Pierre-Jean Vazel. As both a journalist and elite sprinting coach, Vazel has a unique perspective on the topic. We discuss how we got into this current mess, issues with the current system, and what hope we have for moving past these mistakes. Read more

Doping, Dopey, and Dopish

Man, it’s been a long time! I’ve spent many months focused on making another Olympic team. I’ll sum up my experiences at the Olympic Trials quickly, and get to my blog. Read more

5 Marks That Will Make You Ask Some Questions

Imagine a sprinter ran 9.58 seconds at an obscure all-comers meet, then shows up in Rio running 10.10 seconds. You would be an idiot not to ask questions about a performance drop off like that of more than 5%. Perhaps the track was short; maybe the wind gauge was faulty; or even that the athlete was not subject to rigorous out-of-competition drug testing. There could be legitimate reasons for the drop off too: the athlete could now be injured, or just choking more than anyone in history. Either way, such a deviation requires some type of explanation. Unfortunately, these types of performances happen all the time in our sport and no one asks about them. It is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Read more