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Youth Hammer Continues Expansion Across USA

As we have written about over the past month, 2015 was a great year for high school hammer throwing. The final rankings rankings included 254 throwers, an increase of 6.3% from last year. Those athletes also hit new performance levels and some record setting performances. In addition, the geographic scope of the sport spread even further. Read more

Hammer Throwers Rewrite Record Books in 2015

Two weeks ago we highlighted the continued trend of growth in the American youth hammer throwing. As a consequence of this, there were many updates to the record books and all-time lists in 2015. Read more

High School Hammer Shows Continued Growth in 2015

The 2015 season has finished up with Adam Kelly (Barrington, RI) and Haley Showalter (Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, CO) finishing the season at the top. The year was once again a showcase of how much the sport has grown at the high school level. Overall the number of throwers qualifying for Bob Gourley’s national list increased to 254 throwers. This means that throughout the season 132 boys broke 150 feet and 122 girls threw over 120 feet. This represents a 6.3% increase compared to 2014. Read more

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. Read more

Lessons Learned From Beijing: Don’t Foul Your First Throw

The world championships came to a close on Sunday and the throwing events could not have ended on a higher note. Sitting in bronze medal position, women’s javelin thrower Kathrina Molitor was given the last throw in the Olympic Stadium. All of the fans were on their feet as Lu Huihui was in the lead and about to get China their second gold of the championships. Then Molitor let out a monster throw. After the measurement it turned out to be a personal best, world lead, and a gold medal performance. This was just the final highlight of the meet; the entire nine days of action was fun to watch, with historic and thrilling performances across the board. But now that the dust is settled we can sift through competition to find some lessons learned. Read more

The 2015 Indoor Season in Numbers

Bob Gourley’s final national performance lists for the 2015 indoor season were released last week and provided a good overview of what a remarkable season it was. To start with, the number of athletes qualifying for the national performance list spiked this year. Over the previous your years the number of boys over 50 feet and girls over 35 feet had reached a relative plateau, but this year saw 23% more athletes qualify for the national list. Read more

Becoming a Better Consumer of Sports Science

I’ve written extensively over the past few weeks about the scientific process, methods, and study design. All of this has an effect on the results. But we also need to look at a few other aspects that impact our understanding of the results. In other words, we need to ask how we can become better consumers of scientific research. For that I have a few tips that can help with interpreting scientific findings. Read more

Distribution of High School Hammer Throwers

Bob Gourley’s national performance list is the thorough catalog of all elite high school hammers throwers in America. To be included in the list, boys must break 150 feet with the 12-pound hammer and girls must throw more than 120 feet with the 4-kilogram hammer. This year 239 throwers broke that barrier. But more impressive was the geographic diversity: throwers represented 28 different states. As written about last week, this resulted in 15 new state records. Below you can view the distribution of throwers by state.
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What Will It Take in Zurich?

Before the Olympics I looked at what it would take to make the Olympic finals. In the end, despite an A standard of 78 meters, it took a throw of 74.69 meters to make the cut. That may seem low, but it was right in line with the historic level. With the European Championships taking place in less than a month, I thought I would work with British statistician Ian Tempest to look at what it will likely take to make the finals in Zurich.
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Basic Principles of Data Collection

As technology has proliferated over the past decade, so has data collection among athletes and coaches. Data collection is nothing new, but as the amount of data and the ease of obtaining it seems to be growing exponentially. I was just speaking to a scientist from Push last week and their new device will soon let you capture all kinds of metrics with the touch of a button in training. Other devices are adding different metrics. But with all the new data, it is important to keep in mind two principles of data collection:

  1. Know what the data tells you; and
  2. Know how to use it.

If you overlook these, then the data might as well be useless. Read more