Posts

An athlete’s perspective on mental training with Sergej Litvinov

Throughout the month we are sharing different viewpoints on mental training, but it can often be difficult to see how the theory translates into practice in this area. Last December we brought world class hammer thrower Sergej Litvinov to Zurich for a workshop. I’ve already written about his technical philosophy and how he rethinks drills for the hammer. But he also gave us a look inside his mental preparation and how an elite athlete integrates into physical training. Below are a few lessons he taught us. Read more

March 2019 in review: throwing

For our March site theme, we turn our attention from jumping to throwing. This site started out focused on the throwing events in track and field: shot put, discus, javelin and the hammer throw. Over the past decade we have expanded the scope to cover training and coaching for a wide range of sports. But this month we returned to our roots by putting together 7 new articles, 4 new podcasts, and 2 new videos covering all 4 throwing events. Read more

You haven’t taught until they’ve learned

In my post yesterday about Jean-Pierre Egger I wrote about the importance of having a technical philosophy and how that can look in practice. As important as that is, having a philosophy isn’t much use unless the athlete understands it. Teaching isn’t necessarily about what you say, it’s about what is heard. Or, as John Wooden used to put it, you haven’t taught until they’ve learned. Read more

Rethinking drills for the hammer throw

Back in December, I invited Sergej Litinov to Zurich to present a workshop and work with some of the Swiss hammer throwers. Since I first got to train with Litvinov in 2004, I have been impressed by the different perspective he brings to the event. He conceptualizes the hammer throw different than any other thrower I know. Back in August 2017 and September 2018 he joined member hangouts to try and explain his approach, but only seeing him with with athletes in person do you really get to understand how to put the concepts into practice. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 188: The state of sport (with Vern Gambetta)

Our annual tradition is to start off the year with a combined episode of the HMMR Podcast and GAINcast to discuss the state of training for sports. The whole crew gets together on this episode to talk about some of the issue facing our profession, the recent topics we’ve been studying, and our goals for 2019. Read more

GAINcast Episode 150: The state of sport (with Nick Garcia)

Our annual tradition is to start off the year with a combined episode of the HMMR Podcast and GAINcast to discuss the state of training for sports. The whole crew gets together on this episode to talk about some of the issue facing our profession, the recent topics we’ve been studying, and our goals for 2019. Read more

Understanding the orbit in the hammer throw

Hammer throwers have a tendency to be isolated. To start with, we spend most of our times turning around in circles in a cage. But beyond that, we sometimes get so focused on what we are trying to do that we forget why we are trying to do that. Read more

We all just want to be Litvinov

Like most hammer throwers, I was shocked to learn yesterday that former world record holder and Olympic champion Sergey Litvinov unexpectedly passed away. I only had the chance to meet him once, but he had one of the biggest impacts on my development as a thrower and coach; right up there with my two main mentors Harold Connolly and Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Read more

Thoughts from Litvinov and McMahon on accelerating the hammer

Biomechanists can break down how the hammer is accelerated, but one thing they can’t do is determine what is going on in an athlete’s mind to perform the actions they see. What does the athlete think about? How do they try an initiate the movement? This is an area that intrigues me and I’ve been chatting with elite hammer throwers recently to find out their approach. There is no one right answer here, but hearing different viewpoints gives you more tools you can use as a coach. Read more

Fartlek Throwing

Typically distance runners have trained via two methods: either putting in the miles or running fast intervals. But, back in the 1930s, Swedish coach Gösta Holmér developed a new method called fartlek training that combined the two. The fartlek – Swedish for speed play – simply combined periods of fast running mixed with periods of slower running. It proved to be a quick success. Read more