The Mental Game

I’ve always thought that the best tool for sports psychology is a good training program. A good training program won’t solve all of an athlete’s problems, but when training is going well, it is hard to convince an athlete that they will not succeed. Throwers even have a unique advantage in this department. We get to practice every day like it’s a competition and are truly able know what shape we are in; all we have to do is pull out the tape measure and measure our results. Distance runners, on the other hand, do not have this advantage. An article in last month’s Runner’s World talked about how Kara Goucher has worked with a sports psychologist to overcome her mental hurdles. Unlike throwers, it is harder for runners to know exactly what shape they are in. They obviously run in practice, but they don’t replicate an entire race at competitive speeds. Even if they do, they cannot replicate race tactics in training. When the distance runner toes the line, they often aren’t quite sure what to expect and that is where doubt can enter the mind.

On the flip side, when training is not going well, throwers have no advantage in this area. My training last year was inconsistent because I was adjusting to technical changes and my training was often interrupted by work. Inconsistent practices led to inconsistent meets and I was not able to end the season with the results I wanted. This year, however, things are different.


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2 replies
  1. FrenchThrower
    FrenchThrower says:

    All this is very nice. How long do you throw with de 5kg? 80m? Do you finally come in france for the winter cup ? When i see your video, hope you will be near your personal best 😉 The way to de 70m is open !! On saturday, this is the french championship, we will know who will throw for france for the winter cup ! For my part i hope to throw well and far 😀

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      My best is only 76m with the 5kg hammer. Normally, the 5kg hammer is my worst hammer. When I threw my PR (68m), I only had bests of 73m with the 6kg and 75m with the 5kg. I think I am capable of over 78 meters once I adjust to being outdoors. The technique feels better than ever and it should also convert to good throws in competition.


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