The 2000 Olympic Trials remains one of the most historic shot put competitions in the history of the sport. In the fifth round underdog Andy Bloom stepped into the ring, bent over into his iconic starting position, and unleashed a massive throw to secure his spot on the Olympic team. That wasn’t just luck; Bloom had spent his whole career developing a simple technique that he could execute under pressure. On this week’s podcast Bloom looks back at his career, break down his own technique, and discusses his thoughts on throwing and training.
Notes and quotes
With personal bests of 21.82 meters and 67.46 meters, Andy Bloom is one of the top combined shot put/discus throwers in the history of the sport. He was an NCAA champion in both events, as well as US indoor champion twice in the shot put. He made the 2000 Olympic team in the shot put, here he placed fourth. He also won the 1999 World University Games. After retiring from thrower he worked as a strength and conditioning coach before becoming a math professor.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 3:00 – Getting to know Andy Bloom and where he is now.
- 5:15 – Reliving 2000 Olympic Trials.
- 8:30 – The evolution of rotational shot putting.
- 10:30 – Transitioning from the discus to the shot put.
- 12:15 – Breaking down his technique: “Our technique was simple and allowed for big marks at big meets. When adrenaline is the highest, we wanted a simple technique that would be stable. If we start on the left, there is less transition, less factors in play.”
- 16:15 – Nickerson Drill and grooving in technique: “If things weren’t going well I would start at the front of the ring and walk it to the back. If this is the position I want to be in, what does that mean and what will be the simplest way to start and get there.”
- 21:30 – Finding your technique: “You have to figure out what you do well and what you don’t do well. It was a technique that helped me capitalize on what I did well.”
- 23:00 – Flying out of the back vs. simple technique: “Ryan Crouser’s technique is pretty simple. There aren’t a lot of moving parts.”
- 30:00 – Amazing feats of strength.
- 31:00 – The influence of coach and choosing Wake Forest.
- 38:30 – Comparing the rotation shot put to the discus.
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- For more resources on the rotational shot put, members can watch Nick Garcia’s Video Lesson 17: Rotational throwing progressions and Don Babbitt’s Video Lesson 25: Rotational shot put master class.
- Video highlights from the 2000 Olympic Trials can be found online, including Bloom’s best throw at the meet.
- Bloom explained the Nickerson Drill in the episode. You can find a video of the drill on YouTube.
- You can also learn more from Bloom in this late 1990s interview with him from the now defunct Long & Strong Throwers Journal. You can learn more about what he is up to now in this recent article from the Albany Times Union.