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Greatest Technical Throw Ever?

Every thrower’s dream. The lights are on, the pressure is on, the competition is tight. Every single throw the feeling of greatness is creeping closer and closer into their hands. Each throw feels better than the one before. But time is running out. There’s one throw left to accomplish one of the greatest feats of their entire career.

The action is like slow motion. The body has been prepared, the movement has been ingrained. It’s time to release the fury of adrenaline into the shot. There is a feeling of floating mentally. The mind is empty, acting as a spectator while the body dominates the technical precision in the circle. The feet are set in the back of the circle, the throw commences and greatness is achieved.

We all saw this happen last year in Doha when Joe Kovacs took the world by storm on his final throw at the World Championships. The result? The third furthest throw of all time and a second world title. But what was Kovacs hitting in training prior to this feat? What did his training throws look like? Fortunately, we have a glimpse into his preparation and it’s time to dig deep into the training preparation that stunned the world!

Coach and Athlete, Husband and Wife

Watching Joe Kovacs in training is a total spectacle. He is one of the more intense athletes when it comes down to practice. As soon as he laces up his boots, it is clearly time to play. His coach, Ashley Kovacs, also happens to be his wife. One of the coolest relationships to witness is what happens when Joe is in practice preparation. Joe and Ashley quickly go from a caring relationship to an intense unity of athlete and coach.

In 2019 in Doha, I was fortunate enough to witness the beast couple in action during a few training sessions, late in the night during the incredible heat of Qatar. Joe would prepare by wrapping his wrist 9,000 times with tape after putting on his shoes and 3 pounds of chalk. Ashley stood to the side, sternly injecting simple cues here and there, clearly showing the couple had established an impressive means of coach/athlete communication pattern.

One of the most important lessons I learned from witnessing their relationship was based on their simplicity and action. One or two word cues, clearly focusing on one or two principles with an occasional physical demonstration. Joe took the cues to heart and each throw, executed as though his life depended on it! The classic Kovacs “BOOOOOOOOOOOO” yell coming out after each solid throw added a unique spice to the training session.

Don’t Sweat the Technique