Do the Shoes Matter?

When I began throwing the shot in 1997 I pretty much knew nothing about the sport, what shoes to wear, whose technique to copy, etc. I just did what I was told to do by a coach who was there probably once a week. Proof of this is the fact that my first pair of throwing shoes were the classic turquoise, orange, and beige Nike Zoom Rotationals. These were obviously too fast and too advanced for a beginning thrower, especially a glider in the shot put. I was fortunate enough to have a solid Junior College coach Jeff Dunn. He was not well versed in relation to the rotational technique so we stuck with the glide even at 5-foot 7-inches tall. Read more

Men in Tights

I don’t know when exactly I learned about the benefits of tights, but they have been an integral element of my training for as long as I can remember. My most distinct memory comes from a training camp with Harold Connolly in December 2003. Winter had arrived in southwestern Virginia and on the way home after training we stopped at the market to pick up some ingredients to marinate venison. As we stood in line to pay, I got some strange looks. At first I couldn’t understand why, and then it clicked: I was wearing my training clothes, including some UW-issued bright purple tights. Read more

Comparing Push and GymAware Velocity Measurement Devices

Earlier this week I took a look at velocity-based training. But in order to even think about incorporating velocity measurements into training, you have to have something that will measure them for you. There are lots of options in the market now. If you have no budget, there are a variety of apps that give cruder measurements. The Tendo Unit has been around for two decades, but the device has evolved little in that time. And more recently several products have been emerging that attempt to not only measure more accurately, but produce an output that can be more easily used by coaches. Over the last three months I have taken an in-depth look at two such products: Push and GymAware. Both performed great, and below is a review and comparison of them both. Read more