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We all know that the American hammer throwing has grown tremendously at the youth level over the past decade. While some countries and some events here in America see participation declining, the number of throwers over 50 meters has doubled in the States. America was once a country that had trouble qualifying athletes for international championships, but now it has produced junior world champions and has young throwers regularly in the finals at age-group championships. There are many reasons for this surge and I have put together this survey in order to help identify what causes have been the most effective (click here to skip directly to the survey). Hopefully the results will help spur growth in other regions and other event groups.
In order to understand what has worked the best, we first have to pinpoint where success came from. The growth of the hammer throw has been mainly due to the exposure of new geographic areas to the hammer throw. Rhode Island, the traditional youth powerhouse for the hammer throw, has had relatively few new throwers over the past decade and nearly all of the growth in America has been outside as the event reaches new kids in other states. The question then is, how and why did these throwers start the hammer? Did they hear about the event from a friend? Did they take advantage of new meets offering the hammer? Was it just luck?
In order to help my research, I need the help of youth hammer throw coaches across the country. I need your input on what made you come to the sport. If you are a youth hammer coach in any state, please take a few minutes to complete the following survey. In addition, please share it, forward it, or mention it to other youth coaches you know. The more data I receive the better my analysis will be. In addition, if you are an athlete that coached yourself, also please fill out the form to tell me how you heard about and then taught yourself about the hammer.
Thanks for your time and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.