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February/March 2022 in review: throwing

Throughout February and March we looked at team at topic close to our heart: throwing. Our team of contributors put together 2 new videos, 6 new podcasts, and 5 new articles on the topic from 10 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on throwing below.

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Are you training with a chainsaw or sandpaper?

Swedish speed skater Nils van der Poel was one of the most impressive athletes at last month’s Winter Olympics. After obliterating the field and setting records at both the 5000 and 10000m events, he released a free eBook detailing his training plan and philosophy. One important point he made was in what tools he choose. There is a role for nearly every tool in training, but you have to choose the right tool for the purpose at hand. He used the analogy of a sculptor to get his point across:

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HMMR Podcast Episode 266: Use the ball (with Lance Deal)

The hammer throw is a unique sport. Most types of throwing require an athlete to apply force to an implement, but in the hammer throw you have to work together with the implement. That changes the whole dynamic of how you think about accelerating. On this week’s episode we nerd out a little and get into technical detail with one of the best of all time as Olympic medalist Lance Deal explains how he thought about accelerating in the hammer throw.

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Remembering Yuriy Sedykh

World hammer throw record holder Yuriy Sedykh passed away on Tuesday. When you think of Sedykh there is Sedykh the thrower and Sedykh the man. I’m not going to pretend I knew Sedykh the man very well. I met him a handful of times at clinics, but never had an in depth conversation with him. Nevertheless, like every hammer thrower in the world, I intimately knew Sedykh the thrower. Looking around social media for the past few days it is amazing to see all the memories of throwers like me. They met him a few times, but he changed their lives. Below are a few thoughts on Sedykh the thrower.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 245: The Bondarchuk reunion special

Anatoliy Bondarchuk’s success record as a coach can match any coach from any sport. The former hammer throw world record holder and Olympic champion has coached dozens of Olympic medalists over five decades. What is the key to his success? On this week’s podcast six of his former athletes get back together to discuss their first impressions of the coach, what made him so successful, and the role of language in coaching.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 234: The outsider (with PJ Vazel)

What happens when a top sprint coach takes a hammer thrower into his training group? PJ Vazel has coached some of world’s best sprinters but more recently is known for his work in guiding Quentin Bigot to a silver medal in the hammer throw. On this week’s podcast he discusses the parallels between the events and what he learned from transitioning between them. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 211: Reactive throws (with René Sack)

It is easy to think about the throwing events as strength events. But in the end, the implement is often not that heavy. The bigger challenge is coordinating the whole body to add speed to the element through elasticity, as well as strength. German national discus coach René Sack joins this week’s podcast to discuss how he thinks about this element of the throw and exchange ideas about how to address it in training. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 200: The faculty (with Angus Ross, Greg Gatz, and John Pryor)

Vern Gambetta’s GAIN event brings together top practitioners from around the globe in a variety of fields. While the presentations are world-class, what makes it special is the side conversations that we strike up. We tried to recreate that on this week’s podcast by interviewing three faculty members live from GAIN: Angus Ross, Greg Gatz, and John Pryor. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 192: A star is born (with Kevin McMahon)

The making of a champion starts at a young age with the athlete’s family, youth coaches, and community. The champion’s mindset then grows from there. Kevin McMahon won two US titles in the hammer throw and competed in two Olympics and four World Championships. He joins this week’s podcast to share how he started out as a thrower, the San Jose throws community he came of age in, and the inspiration he took from that. In addition, we look a bit at what it takes to be a champion in the hammer throw, and more. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 185: Around the world (with Mattias Jons)

As an elite hammer thrower, Mattias Jons had the chance to work with coaches from a variety of countries, continents, and backgrounds. As he’s developed as a coach, his diverse background has come in handy. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss some of the different approaches he’s encountered and what he has taken from Swedish, Finnish, German, Polish, American, Soviet, and other traditions. Read more