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Closing Out the Season: A Conversation

This blog is a transcript of a conversation between Garage Strength Head Coach Dane Miller, and three of his post-collegiate throwers: Sam Mattis, Ryan Njegovan, and Noah Kennedy White.

Dane Miller: Ideally, at the end of a championship season, there would be a one to two week layoff period where you don’t do anything except for lay around and don’t really do anything. Preferably fully recover. Then we’d have a meeting where we’d sit there and go over what things felt good, where you felt like you could have been feeling better at a certain period. I’d go over what was good in your technique and where your technique needs to continue to progress over the next 6 months once training starts back up. We’d lay out where the strength levels are at in the weight room and the distances in the circle and say, “OK, moving forward, we need to get bench press to this weight, snatches to this weight, mobility to these positions, and the technique to a specific position,” so we communicate clear cut ideas. I think even then we’d want to set out a schedule where we say, “This is the week we want to come back and train, this is the bodyweight we want to be at in the fall, this is the bodyweight we want to be at during the season.”

Sam Mattis: After the season, would you say to immediately start back into it and go slow from a throwing standpoint, or is that more of an individual basis?

DM: I think it could be more of an individual basis. Like, where your technique is, Sam, compared to last year we’re in a much more consistent position, and I think we each have a better understanding of how we work together. I think you could probably take like 2-3 weeks of slow throws where you take 8-10 throws at moderate intensity, whereas with Ryan I might have him do a little more positional work for 2-3 weeks. Even with you, Sam, there are a few more technical things I think we could key on, so we could sit there and say, “Ok, on these 2-3 days each week, we’ll slow it down.” I would say, with Noah, I’d want him to do more slow throws, but then Sunday and Monday he decided now all of a sudden he wants to throw hard out of the same positions and that’s what I want to see out of him. So, I think it is more of an individual basis on how you approach that technical breakdown. For example, if I had an athlete whose technique was super sloppy, they would need slow throws just to feel something in the circle, so I’d absolutely have them slow it down after the season.

Noah Kennedy White: Another question, going back to the nutrition and weight fluctuation stuff, how important is it for you if we as athletes kind of keep track of what we’re eating and how it impacts our bodyweight? Just so if we want to weigh this much in the offseason or that much in the regular season, we can look back and have and idea of what to do.

DM: I think that’s good. I think, looking at it from a business perspective, at Earth Fed Muscle we have developed a dashboard. With this, we can look at things like gross revenue, site visits, likes on instagram, expenditures, etc. So we have several variables that we can go and look at how the business is performing, and understand how all of those variables play a role in our success. So I think that’s something that we need to do more of, is say, “Ok, in the off season, I might be eating 250 grams of protein each day and weighing 290, but I feel really freakin’ strong and I my distances are good and my technique is good,” then we can take a look at all of those things and figure that weight works pretty well for you. If we created something like that and each week you all provided input, then it makes it easier during the actual peaking time, we can look back and see in the fall, you were 290 and absolutely smashing everything, and maybe we should try to stick as close to that number as we can. So those are things that we don’t really know, and they could impact us positively or negatively and impact us for the future.

Ryan Njegovan: With taking time off at the end of the season, a lot of throwers don’t lift, don’t throw, just kind of give their bodies time to recover. Is there anything that you’d recommend, like a light plyo day or active recovery, so you’re not just sitting around doing nothing for 2 weeks.

DM: I think one thing that I don’t really like people doing regularly during the season is swimming, but I think it’s ideal for post-season down time. It doesn’t destroy your body, and even if you’re