Over the course of the past couple days, I have received a lot of feedback about my previous post about post-collegiate throwing. I have engaged in great conversation with a former thrower and SUNY Brockport standout Dom Gonzalez. Dom is a multiple time Division III All-American in the 35lb. Weight Throw and Hammer Throw. At the time of his dominance in the mid 2000's, I was at the tail end of my post-collegiate throwing career. Since then, Dom and I have kept in touch, but most recently we have began discussing our "old" throwing days.
Above you can see the correspondence we had on my Instagram page. With all due respect intended, I asked Dom if he would have continued to throw post-collegiate if he had thrown farther in college. His college personal best is just under 60m (196').
We have exchanged a few text messages since our conversation on Instagram. The researcher in me enjoys talking to people, learning more about them, and asking questions. I will be traveling to Albany in a couple of weeks for school related business. While in the Albany area, Dom has agreed to an interview in which we will discuss post-collegiate throwing, as well as the following questions. For some context, Dom also spent a few years as a throwing coach at a local Division III institution in the greater Rochester area.
My follow-up questions regarding post-collegiate throwing are as follows:
How far does someone need to throw in college in order to keep the dream alive after college? Is it worth-while for someone to continue throwing after college if their personal best in the Hammer is only 60m, or if their best Discus throw is 53m? Where would you draw the line on moving forward and trying to achieve your throwing dream?
I think it is safe to say that maybe 10% of throwers continue throwing (Shot-Put/Discus/Javelin/Hammer/Weight) after graduating from college. If the "dream" is not to qualify for and compete at the biggest stage imaginable, i.e. Olympic Games, then why continue throwing?
Jud Logan, 4x American Hammer Olympian, provides very valuable insight below in a tweet to me when I asked him what to consider when thinking about training as a post-collegiate thrower.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on the subject? If a thrower approached you today, and asked you to coach them through the 2020 Olympics, what would you say? What factors would play a role in your decision?
As always, thanks for reading.
Charles Infurna, Ed.D. is the owner of Forza Athletics, a throwing club that supports and mentors high school, collegiate, & post-collegiate throwers. Dr. Infurna currently coaches DIII National Champion Luis Rivera and Savannah Cook.