Every coach aims for technical improvement, but few have a clear method for achieving it. Throwing coach Nathan Ott has a clear process. It starts with defining the key engine an athlete uses to move, creating a plan together with the athlete, and maintaining focus and accountability. He joins us on this week’s episode to discuss how he views technical development, its interaction with physical preparation, and examples from world champion Brooke Andersen.
Notes and quotes
Nathan Ott is currently the throwing coach at Penn State University, having previously worked at Grand Canyon University, Kansas State University, Northern Arizona University, and Southern Utah University. In addition to his collegiate coachign duties he guides a group of post-collegiate throwers including 2022 hammer throw world champion Brooke Andersen.
- 0:00 – Introduction.
- 3:15 – How do you accelerate the implement: pushing vs. pulling vs. draging.
- 10:15 – Categorizing acceleration engines for other throwing events.
- 15:30 – Structuring technical development: “Slow down and define the most important part. If you have something you need to correct, you need to make sure it is a constant you are doing. Focus on your effort, and don’t deviate from it.”
- 20:15 – The technical development process for beginners vs. elite athletes and examples from Brooke Andersen.
- 24:00 – Athlete involvement in technical development process.
- 27:30 – Tools for technical development: “Slow down and define the most important part. If you have something you need to correct, you need to make sure it is a constant you are doing. Focus on your effort, and don’t deviate from it.”
- 31:00 – Finding individual response to implement selection: “Sometimes we view technique as a delicate little flower. It shouldn’t be that way. Be brave. You should be able to apply technique to all kinds of implements and understand that stimulus matters.”
- 34:15 – Brooke Andersen’s long-term development.
- 40:15 – Bondarchuk’s influence and how he’s adapted that.
- 47:30 – Parallels and similarities to the John Smith system: “Is it repeatable? A system doesn’t work until you can show it is repeatable.”
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- You can learn more about Coach Ott on his Penn State biography. You can also follow him on Instagram (@Coach_Nathan_Ott) and Twitter (@Coach_Nate_Ott).
- Ott, as well as other top coaches, recently presented at the National Hammer Throw Summit. You can still sign up for access to video replays here.
- Ott’s former teammate Greg Watson shares similar influences and they have both molded them into their own system. Watson was a guest back on Episode 64.