Last night Taylor kicked off her 2015-2016 season with a great opening performance in the 20lb. Weight Throw. Her opener of 16.19m, about a foot short of her career PR. I'm an optimistic coach, and considering the way our practices and "life" treated us the past 10 days or so, this was a great way to get the season started.
A couple of things things we need to focus our energy on moving forward with the 2015-2016 season: 1) smoother transition between turns, and 2) force of release. Strength is not an issue with Taylor. With an emphasis on technique work and pushing the weight to 90 degrees, Taylor will better be able to meet the goals she set forth for herself this season.
I also had the great opportunity to meet Taylor's parents last night. They made the couple hour drive to watch Taylor throw-what a great support system for Taylor to have in her life. It's always nice to see family members at track and field meets. They are not always the most exciting of sporting events, but having people there that care about you sometimes gives a little extra "something" that an athlete may normally not get from competing. I look forward to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Y at other indoor and outdoor meets this season.
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My first season as throwing coach at SUNY Fredonia was a rewarding one! Pictured below from left to right are Tim, myself, Jen, Meredith, and Nick. This picture was taken at the University of Rochester. It was a great day of throwing. Everyone is smiling, so we know it was a good day!
In that first year of coaching, I learned many valuable lessons. More than I would like to list here, but of importance is that of guidance. I don't mean the guidance of coaching necessarily, but the guidance of everything else besides throwing. It wasn't until the 2005 spring semester that I realized I needed to spend more time just talking with my athletes and getting to know them. The be all end all was not going to be throwing for a majority of them, so why not make practice as comfortable as possible, while also staying focused on the goal(s) at hand.
I won't go into detail in regards to our road trips to Kent State or Slippery Rock. It was on those road trips that we grew closer together as a team. We didn't all agree on everything all the time. That concerned me back then. Not so much anymore. I can agree to disagree with an athlete. That does not threaten me as much as it may have back in 2005.
Jen, myself, and Tim at SUNY Buffalo. The one thing I taught my kids early on was that to make sure their ears, hands, and feet were always warm. If those three parts of your body are warm, it makes for a more comfortable and productive throwing session. Have you ever thrown with cold ears and hands, or cold hands and feet??? Not good at all!
2005-2006 SUNY Fredonia throwers. This picture was taken in the circle at Slippery Rock University. We famously stayed at the Evening Star Motel. That is all you need to know about the Evening Star Motel. Pictured from left to right are Zac, Julia, myself, Tim, Matt, Tom, Meredith, and Nick. This group of throwers scored a massive amount of points at our 2006 SUNYAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Julia won her 1st of 4 consecutive hammer championships. Meredith moved her way up the Javelin all time top 10 list. Nick knocked me down the all time Indoor Weight Throw and Outdoor Hammer list this particular season.
Everything was always sunshine and rainbows, but I still keep in contact with a great majority of throwers I have coached over the years. I have a lot of old video footage laying around from this particular season. I will look to post some of those videos in the future.
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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.