02:58 GMT, 10/29/2010


It is a difficult concept to understand, I know that.

In the vast majority of hammer programs that I've encountered there is a huge amount of emphasis placed on learning to wind and turn at the very beginning of learning the hammer. Sometimes I think that coaches coach this way because that's what most everyone says should be done. In my program I focus on getting my throwers to a successful three turn on day 1. Most reasonably athletic young men and women can easily do a three turn right away. I think it is best to learn by throwing because there is no way to replicate the feeling of throwing except by throwing. Ultimately you can be an 80m thrower with bad footwork. You cannot be an 80m thrower with bad rhythm "hammered" into you with thousands of "dry turns."

For almost every athlete that I coach there is a very rapid (3 days) increase in distance followed by a plateau which can last between 1 week and 2 months. This plateau is almost always followed by a moment of understanding. If any of you other coaches have experienced this moment of understanding feel free to chime in on this. At this point, I think it is appropriate to work on fixing any major problems with winding.

Whereas Raids thinks "Only after someone has a good grasp on how to wind, and how to turn, do they have any chance of putting these concepts together and be a good 'thrower'." I would venture to say exactly the opposite. Only after someone has begun to understand what a good throw feels like can they grasp the concept of the importance of winding and footwork.

Since the hammer throw is uniquely upper-body driven, an emphasis on footwork, especially for a beginner, will severely retard any chance of the concept of pushing the ball.

I could be wrong. Its happened before.