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HMMR Podcast Episode 257: Mailbag

It’s time to open the listener mailbag again. As the track season comes to and end and the fall sports season starts up, we answer some questions on scoring trends in track and field, general preparation, plyometrics, med balls, and share some memories of Yuriy Sedykh.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 256: Throwing trends (with Don Babbitt)

The dust has settled following Tokyo, giving us time to analyze the most recent trends in our sport. It’s not just a question of who is hot and who is not, but how current throwers are adapting and changing technique to reach new levels. On this week’s podcast coach Don Babbitt joins us to look at the technical trends in the throws that emerged in Tokyo.

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A call to standardize throwing surfaces

All sports have rules. Rules are there to standardize competition, making it both more safe and fair for the competitors. Rules define the playing area, implement, procedures, and more. Rules can go overboard, but the idea is that the rules make sure the winner determined by physical and tactical components, rather than luck. In the throwing events various rules define the size and weight of the implement, where it must be thrown, the design of the cage, and the structure of the competition. However one there is one big gap in the rules: the throwing surface.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 255: Olympic throws debrief (with Shaun Pickering)

The Olympics just wrapped up. All the uncertainty leading into the games was left fans unsure of what was to come. But once the throwing started, historic performances arrived daily. On this week’s episode guest Shaun Pickering joins us to break down the performances in each of the throwing events, look at what made the Tokyo Olympics different, and draw out some key lessons for coaches and athletes from the 2020 Olympics.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 251: Relearning the lifts (with Wil Fleming)

Many athletes pick up weightlifting as a hobby after retiring from their primary sport. After years of training without proper technique, transitioning to a new sport often requires a step back to relearn technique. That’s exactly what we’ve been struggling with lately. On this week’s episode Wil Fleming joins us to break down our own technique, and shares some ideas on submaximal lifting, variations, complexes, warming up, meet preparation, and much more.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 250: The ultimate Olympic Trials throws preview

It seemed like the Olympics might never arrive, but all of a sudden the tryouts for the world’s best team are here. That’s right, the US Olympic Trials start this week and we’ve got an in depth preview of all the throwing events together with guest Kibwé Johnson. In addition to sharing our predictions, we also discuss format changes in the field events, what makes a championship environment different, the resurgence of American hammer throwing, and much more.

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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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Against all odds

Look back at the history of track and field and there are some legendary performances that we can all admire no matter the era. 60 years ago Abebe Bikila won the Olympic marathon barefoot in a time of 2:15, just over 6 minutes off the times from recent Olympics. Jesse Owens had to dig starting blocks into the cinder track when he ran, but his performances in the long jump would still qualify for the Olympic final nearly 90 years later. Harold Connolly won Olympic hammer throw gold despite partial paralysis in one arm. Read more

Looking back at 2019: men’s hammer throw world rankings

It was a bit of a strange year in the hammer throw. For the first time ever, the World Championships took place in October. Also, for the first time ever, there were four medal winners. In the end, some of the top established throwers continued to add to their credentials. But it was also a year for new names, as five of our top ten athletes were unranked last year. Our complete annual rankings for the men’s hammer are below. Read more

Why athletes need to give back

One of the constant struggles we have in Switzerland is keeping athletes involved in the sport after they retire. If you look at the all-time list in the hammer throw, only two of the top 25 throwers (myself included) are actively coaching. A few others coached briefly, but for the most part once athletes retire we will never see them again. Read more