Training Talk With Erik Cadee

Twenty-seven year old adidas discus thrower Erik Cadée brought a fresh new idea into the discus ring last season. The Dutchman was already among the world’s best, but he took a risk and began training with a new technical style. It paid off and Cadée threw a new personal best of 66.95 meters in the spring. That ranks him just barely behind former World Championship medalists Erik de Bruin and Rutger Smith on the Dutch all-time list.

For years the major difference in technical styles at the elite level could be boiled down to whether or not a thrower ‘reversed’ at the end of the throw. Cadée’s style plays with the orbit and adds another quarter turn of rotation at the start of the throw. After seeing him train and throw in Turkey last year and talking with his coach about the technique, I figured it was time to ask him a few questions directly.

The style itself is so unique that it doesn’t even have a name yet. Feel free to share your thoughts on the technique and a potential name in the comments after the article. My suggestions are either ‘540’ (for the number of degrees you rotate to get to the power position) or ‘Neu’ (after a German who used a variation of the technique in the seventies; the word also has the relevant meaning of ‘new’ in German).

Martin: For people who are unfamiliar with the technical changes you have made in the last year, can you give a brief overview of what you are doing differently?

Erik: As you can see from my throwing videos I get into the throw from a slightly different starting position where I put my right leg further back and keep the disc higher. From there I let the discus drop and make a longer turn. During the throw I try to keep things more relaxed and let it happen, instead of forcing it all. By using this technique I try to generate more energy and create more time and easier positions the get the most efficient path for the discus before releasing it at the end.
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An Introduction to Biomechanics

I recently came across a biomechanical analysis of the hammer throw at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. While the report is brief, it perfectly illustrates a few points that all hammer throwers need to know.

2009 World Champion Primož Kozmus showing a solid hammer position.

Basic physics tells us that there are three main variables that impact the distance of the throw: (1) the velocity of the hammer at the time of release; (2) the angle of release; (3) and the height of release. Obviously other factors also come into play, such as the wind, the density of the air, and so on, but these factors are the same for everyone and cannot be influenced by the throw. The height of release also plays a relatively small role since it remains fairly constant despite attempts by Harold Connolly in his prime to try to throw will taller shoes.
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Positive running

When I was in Holland Frans Bosch introduced the concept of Positive Running to me. I thought it was thought provoking and should be put on the table for discussion. Frans was kind enough to translate some of his remarks on his idea into English. Read more