Practice officially began a couple of weeks ago for our Alfred State throwers. In the time we have had, everyone has worked diligently in honing their throwing craft or learning how to throw the various implements. Efficient time management has been the conduit that has held things together.
We have 11 total throwers (4 women, 7 men). Some of which are returning (7) and some are new (4). Others have also never thrown before (2). It is a great mix of personalities that has kept practice fun and interesting.
One thing that always creeps into my mind at roughly the same time every year is the amount of time (or lack thereof) we have before our first meet of the season. Essentially, our throwers this year have 4 weeks of training before our first meet. We lose a week for Thanksgiving, and when we return we have a day or two to train before a Friday meet.
When taking the whole indoor/outdoor season as a whole, we have roughly 26 training weeks allotted to us. That takes into consideration the Thanksgiving break, winter recess, and spring break. It really doesn’t leave that much time to train.
On the surface a 26 week season seems long. Depending on your perspective you may think that you have plenty of time to achieve your goals. From a different perspective it isn’t quite enough time. As a former collegiate athlete, I had the former perspective. As a coach, I tend to lean more towards the latter and think that we don’t have enough time.
A strategy that has assisted me and my athletes over the past few seasons has been to have a plan for each successive week based on aspects of their technique they (the athlete) wants to improve. The emphasis leading up to the first meet is to ensure each athlete has the skills necessary to compete in a manner that shouldn’t lead to an injury. What I mean by that is that each thrower should have mastered basic technique in order to compete in such a way that is healthiest for them. I’ve been to plenty of high school meets over the years in which athletes are asked to throw (or maybe they want to) without proper form or technique that could lead to an injury. You may be able to muscle around a 25# weight as a male thrower, but eventually bad form/technique might lead to an increased chance of injury.
For now, we are on the clock. With roughly six practice sessions left until our first meet, our goals are to continue building upon the technical foundations we have already established while focusing on specific aspects of the throw that will provide the best opportunities for success.
Dr. Charles Infurna
Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.