I would like to tell you about the last couple of weeks of training with Ms. Monique Hardy. Monique is a sophomore at Webster Thomas High School. She started throwing the weight and hammer last year. It would be an understatement to say that Monique has taken quite nicely to throwing the weight and hammer. I don’t believe it is that far-fetched to say that Monique is one of the most talented high school throwers in the country. She finished fourth at the New Balance High School Indoor National Championships this past March in the 20# Weight Throw and holds a personal best of 56’3”. Yesterday, at the New Balance High School Outdoor National Championships she threw the hammer 56.15m and finished 2nd.
Last Sunday at a USATF sanctioned meet held at Roberts Wesleyan College, Monique threw a personal best of 49.86m. In seven days, she added about 25’ to that distance. One of the text messages I recently received from a coach asked, “How did you do that?” It is very simple, Monique did all the work.
For those of you that are still reading, this is how her last five practice sessions were structured:
Day 1: 6k x 10, 4k x 12
Day 2: 6k x 6, 4k x 16
Day 3: 4k x 24
Day 4: 4k x 16, 3k x 8
Day 5: The day before the competition 4k x 5
We don’t mark every throw in practice. We know which throws are the good one’s based on what Monique tells me. The prettiest ones don’t always go the farthest. The poor mechanical throws go far sometimes too. The cues we gave Monique to focus on during the competition were; 1) increase speed on second wind, and 2) push hard into the first turn. Nothing very complicated or elaborate.
Monique is a very dedicated thrower. She is very engaged in practice. Rarely, if ever, does she check her phone or lose focus in what we are doing. At times, I can’t get my college athletes take two throws without looking at their phones. The secret lies in her work ethic. She watches throwing videos of herself and elite world class throwers. She is committed to getting the most out of every practice, even when we have some poor ones. I’m proud of the fact that I coach Monique. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to coach you.
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.