The coaching roundtable on Olympic weightlifting started last week off by discussing lifting variations and lifting technique with some top Olympic lifting coaches. For this final part I thought it would be best to hear from throwing coaches and see how they actually implement Olympic lifting in their training plans. I was able to talk to two of the top coaches in America, Don Babbitt and Dan Lange, to get their input on the topic.
Don Babbitt has been the throws coach at the University of Georgia for eighteen years in which his athletes captured 12 NCAA titles, and 68 All-American honors. Chris Hill (javelin) and Jenny Dahlgren (hammer) also set NCAA records under his guidance. In addition, he has worked with athletes like Olympic champion Adam Nelson (shot put), Reese Hoffa (shot put), Breaux Greer (javelin), Jason Tunks (discus), Brad Snyder (shot put), Andras Haklits (hammer) and many other international champions.
Dan Lange has the honor of being the only living American to have coached an Olympic hammer throw champion. In 24 years as throws coach for the University of Southern California, Lange’s athletes have won 8 NCAA championships and 58 All-American honors. His most successful athletes have been Balazs Kiss, 1996 Olympic champion and NCAA record holder, and Adam Setliff, who he worked with post-collegiatelly as he qualified for two Olympic finals in the discus. Lange also worked with Kevin McMahon for a season.