GAINcast Episode 237: Coach the person (with Debbie Strange)

All throwing events are different. But more importantly all athletes are different. When we devise training we have to remember we’re coaching people, not machines. This is central to the philosophy of throws coach Debbie Strange. On this week’s GAINcast she joins us to discuss her coaching philosophy, the unique demands of the javelin throw, training plan design, and more.

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Notes and quotes

Debbi Strange is a high performance coach based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Throughout her long career she has worked with top throwers such as discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina (1997 world champion) and javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar (2010 Commonwealth Games silver). Currently she is coaching New Zealand javelin throw record holder Tori Peeters.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:30 – Debbie’s coaching background and influences: “The best way to improve your coaching is to be out there coaching.”
  • 9:15 – Developing coaches: “When you look at the challenges of coaching, what stands out is we are working with people, not machines. We all have strengths and weaknesses.”
  • 13:30 – Rethinking javelin training: “I’m always looking for training means that are challenging, fun, and athletic. We are explosive and do a lot of reactive strength work, but always in an athletic way. Set an environment where the athlete feels safe and secure to challenge themselves and not be afraid or scared of making a mistake.”
  • 21:45 – The role of confidence in injuries.
  • 24:15 – The link between the javelin and discus throws.
  • 28:15 – Throwing history in NZ and talent identification: “If they start to ask me questions and study the event, those are the athletes I’m really interested in.”
  • 36:00 – Small country success: “People spend too much time moaning about the disadvantage of being a small country. Turn it around. Use the smallness as an advantage. You can disseminate information easier and promote collaboration.”
  • 40:45 – Weekly planning for throws training.
  • 43:30 – Impact of competition on training and the competition camaraderie.
  • 48:15 – Implementing double throwing sessions.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: