HMMR Podcast Episode 278: Behind the scenes (with Ryan Whiting)

The World Championships are going on at the moment, and Ryan Whiting has experienced them many times as both an athlete and a coach. On this week’s podcast he walks us through what makes the world championships different from other meets and what makes it so hard to peak on the biggest stage. In addition, he looks back at the lessons he learned from his own coaches, and how he has molded that into his own coaching philosophy.

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Notes and quotes

Ryan Whiting is a world champion shot putter. As a collegiate athlete at Arizona State University he set the indoor collegiate record and won six NCAA titles, including one in the discus. As a professional athlete he won two World Indoor Championships, won silver at the 2013 World Championships, and also was an Olympian in 2012. He currently coaches an elite group of throwers at Desert High Performance.

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 2:15 – Reflections on Oregon22 so far.
  • 6:45 – The home field advantage for Americans in Eugene.
  • 9:45 – Getting used to big meet procedures and understanding the dynamics.
  • 12:00 – In depth look at what it’s like to compete at global championships.
  • 21:30 – Where did all the shot put/discus double throwers go? “The technique in shot put and discus is similar, but the rhythm and timing of the delivery is different. Shot is a hip delivery, discus is hip then hold. My rhythm was so triggered to going forward in the shot put, that made the discus rhythm more difficult.”
  • 29:00 – Importance of throwing multiple events for developing throwers.
  • 33:45 – Lessons from coaches throughout his career: Glenn Thompson, Dave Dumble, TJ Crater, Pat Ebel, and Brian Blutreich.
  • 41:45 – Communication: “Coaches shouldn’t say what not to do. They need to say what to do. If you tell someone what not to do, of course they’ll keep doing it. Find a positive way to say what to do instead.”
  • 43:45 – Transitioning from high school to college and the ego dynamic between coaches.
  • 46:45 – How college coaches can reach out during athlete handover.
  • 49:30 – What Whiting would have done differently as an athlete.
  • 54:00 – Trying out new ideas: “I was on the same program as a college freshman and then as a 22m shot putter. Now as a coach I look at that and it’s outrageous.”
  • 56:30 – Teaching the mental tools.

To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.

Further reading