Training Talk With Kevin McMahon (Part 2)
Last week I posted the first part in an interview with Kevin McMahon, a two-time Olympian in the hammer throw and one of the top throwers in the history of American hammer throwing. In Part 1, he discussed how he started out in the sport and the coaches that helped him along the way. In part 2, he discusses his approach to training and technique.
Martin: When you started out, you were able to progress quite quickly and reached nearly 70 meters before you turned 20. That is a level that many throwers already plateau at. What do you think helped you to continue to improve to almost 80 meters, while others never get beyond that mark?
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The “sleepy relaxed” is something I did when I was throwing my best in the javelin 261’1″ (79.60m) in 1980. I had a problem relaxing my throwing arm just before I’d go into the impulse step cross-over. Eventually I was able to do this enough that it became part of my training of throwing far and staying very relaxed. I’ve tried passing this “sleepy relaxed” idea off to some of my High School throwers I coach, but they just don’t get it yet. YES! throwing things relaxed with less effort in practice should be right up there with working on the right technique…because we all know that when the adrenaline is pumping in competition we gotta relax.
My son Dylan met Kevin McMahon at the WTC camp last summer in Sacramento, He was really impressed and absorbed all that McMahon said. In the discus at the dual meet yesterday, he threw an 8 ft pr to 123′. He was a bit pumped up. 2nd throw was a wounded duck as he was too excited. I told him Kevin’s principle of this article. I cued him (per Harry Marra’s advice) to one thought, “Kevin McMahon”. He threw 125′ 4″ on his 3rd throw and near 124′ on his final throw. Thanks for the article and let Kevin know my son has spent the last 9 months living the life of a track athlete based on much of what Kevin spoke about at Godina’s camp.