Every thrower has been guilty of it. They worry about the “what ifs?” They get fearful, they start to worry, they start to tell everyone that they aren’t nervous but deep down inside they are playing the terrible game of, “I don’t want to screw this up!”
Finally, it’s time to throw. Everyone is walking around, chalk is out, implements are rolling around, snorting, grunting, caffeine is getting crushed. All the throwers are playing the facade. The legit throwers don’t make excuses, they get into the circle, they warm up, they focus on themselves and they smash their throws. Meanwhile, the small-minded are worried about every little detail. What if the back of the circle is slippery? What if those guys are talking about me? What if my shoes are too fast? The ridiculous thoughts that go through thrower's minds can be outrageous.
Here are three cool facts from this year’s 2019 World Championships in Doha that will show you all that matters is your next throw! Don’t focus on the negative. Focus on your cues, focus on yourself, focus on your mindfulness. Get out of your head and let your body take over.
Daniel Stahl put his first throw at Worlds directly into the poll.
Stahl’s warm-ups in qualifying weren’t great. They were a little wobbly, slightly erratic. Not the best of throws. It was heard that Stahl and Weisshaidinger did not get their discs into the discus pool and neither thrower was happy. What did Stahl do after his favorite disc didn’t make it through and his warm-ups were shaky? He put his first throw into the cage. HARD. How did he react? He went out and SMASHED his next throw. Stahl focused on his gameplan, knew he was the best in the competition and destroyed qualification.
Joe Kovacs Threw his PR in Soccer Cleats
This story isn’t truly about Worlds but Joe and I were talking and he was showing me the new Velaasa throwing shoes. Not the first round of throwing shoes but the second round. I was impressed, I loved the sole on the bottom and thought as a shoe, they looked very legit. I was very impressed by the shoe. Joe did not downplay that his new Velaasa shoes were an incredible upgrade from their first product and that he loved the shoe because he threw 70 feet in it the first day he tried them on! BUT...The real story lies in the fact that he indeed wore soccer cleats when he threw his previous best. That’s right...soccer cleats. What’s that mean? One, it means Kovacs is a complete freaking ANIMAL. Two, it means STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT SHOES YOU WEAR...just throw!
Sam Mattis Almost Decapitated Himself
Before the qualification for men’s discus, I was outside with Sam Mattis and Alex Rose, warming up for a big performance. We got to the warm up track, they loosened up and took some stands. Sam actually smashed his standing throw (something he RARELY does) and both Sam and Alex were moving well, their PROGRAM lined them up well. Although it was 110 degrees Fahrenheit and also humid, neither thrower expressed a struggle to hold onto the disc. Sam did some dry movements and then decided to take his first full. He hit some great positions and SMACKED the finish. The problem was, Sam’s discus had already slid out early, it hit the pole and flew DIRECTLY at Sam’s head. Fortunately, he reacted fast and avoided the craziness. 90 minutes later, Sam was tossing in qualifications and made his first World Championship final!
The point of throwing is to focus on throwing for your best possible distance. We need to realize, the game is simple. Just throw freaking far. Get your technical work done, know what your movement goals are and know how to mentally prepare for a competition. Set a routine and decrease outside stressors and line up to achieve a great, simple throw!
If you want to catch up on Dane’s trip to Doha, check it out HERE