Throws training can be incredibly detailed and focused. Every thrower knows and understands each particular aspect behind a good training session. The problems behind training design are based on various means of incorporating every aspect of a good session. It’s clear that throwers need to be strong, they need to be explosive, they need to be mobile, they need to have good technique, they need to have a strong mindset!
But the question isn’t about what those elements are that define an elite thrower, the question is around how to actually organize that into an effective system of execution! Should all of this work be done in one, over and over again? Should it be designed to focus on these elements every other day? These ideas are difficult and it takes time to cultivate an effective training system. Let’s find out what goes into an effective day of training.
Developing Practice Format
When laying out a practice format, it’s very important to analyze and recognize the keys behind being the best thrower possible. We know that throwers need to have technique for their throwing movement. They need to be strong, explosive, etc...as coaches, it is then important to figure out and analyze what movements may transfer over to other necessary elements of training. Throughout this blog, we will demonstrate the various exercises and layouts that lead to optimal transfer of training. But first, let’s demonstrate a simple layout of priorities!
Throwing Technical Movement
Power and Explosiveness/Strength
Technical Learning Capability
Throwing Technical Movement
In the view of most throws coaches, technical movement is going to be the priority to become an elite thrower. At ThrowsU, we view this in a similar fashion that football teams would view work with first team offense or first team defense. The work on technical movement, specifically around throwing, is an absolute priority and a skill. Skills need to be trained and improved on a daily basis.
1. Comprehend Meta-Movement
Athletes and coaches need to know what the “meta-movement” will be or should become. What does this mean? There needs to be an end product. A technical model. A final outcome of ideal training that all throwers must work toward. That means the coach and thrower should know exactly what they want to achieve and what that movement would look like in each position.
Need to save some throws? Click on that technical analysis below!
2. Daily Goals
Oftentimes, coaches go to practice and throwers start their technical movement without any focus on a daily goal. Every program, every day, every rep needs to have some sort of goal. This makes the work more precise and it enables the thrower to have a simple understanding of the big process at hand. This can be equated to having a good boss. The best bosses lay out clear cut expectations, they lay out clear cut goals for employees, and thus the employees know exactly what needs to get done!
3. Cues + Reps = Meta-Movement
After the technical model is established and daily goals are established, the coach and athletes should be on the same page regarding the number of reps and the types of cues needed to improve various positions. As reps improve, cues may change as well and over time the movement will get closer to that Meta-Movement goal!
Power and Explosiveness/Strength
The second important aspect behind throws training will be based on power development/explosiveness and strength. This is where we can start to see how the principle behind transfer of training will come into play. Take for example the back squat.
The back squat trained alone and viewed through a microscope, may not have the greatest impact on the development of a thrower. However, as we mine deeper into the training system, we can start to see how the back squat can improve the snatch or the clean and jerk. As the snatch or clean and jerk improves, mobility and technical comprehension improve as well. Now we can see a bigger picture with power and explosiveness.
The squat can improve leg strength. Leg strength leads to improvement in the snatch. The snatch can enhance rate of force development and thoracic mobility and trunk stability AND technical mindset. All of a sudden, the back squat has a residual impact on the training system from various different degrees!
Mobility and Trunk Stability
It’s incredibly important for a thrower to be mobile. Throwers need to be mobile in the upper body, they need hips and a lower back that can get in very lengthened positions. It’s important to recognize that if a thrower works on their mobility, they need to also be STABLE!
Stability transfers well to the throws because it can silence any noise of fluctuations that joints may be dealing with while executing the throws. The more stable the throwers joints are during throwing, the easier it becomes for the thrower to handle higher levels of force and ultimately to apply the force into the implements! Every single training session needs movements to develop mobility while also focusing upon trunk stability. This takes us back to our back squat analysis! Squatting can imprint tremendous mobility in the hips and lower back while also enhancing trunk stability!
Ahhhhh, the forgotten key element behind throws based training. Throwers love to get extremely strong, they love to get HUGE, bench a lot of weight and then occasionally step into the circle. Coaches need to remember, throwing is a skill, learning TECHNIQUE is a skill. Coaches MUST optimize the rate and ability in which their athletes learn and master this skill. It is important to LEARN HOW TO LEARN.
Technical learning can be done every single day in the circle with work toward the meta-movement. Technical learning can be done in the weight room with Olympic lifts. Get a thrower to learn and coordinate effectively from a logical perspective with the snatch or cleans and now we just tripled their ability to enhance their technical learning. Over time, the thrower will embrace technical learning from a logical perspective, they will understand force development is optimal when thoughtfully executed instead of entering into total rage mode!
The snatch can train the brain. The snatch then improves mobility and enhances trunk stability. It improves analysis of technique and rate of force development. The thrower eventually learns how to execute movement precisely and this transfers to the circle !
Throwing training should be based around the priority in the sport, followed by the movements that transfer the best based around priorities! Figure out what the END goal of the movement needs to be and establish regular goals toward that movement. In the weight room, identify what movements transfer well to other movements and other aspects of training. Focus on development of the brain in regarding movement proposition as well and the thrower will eventually optimize their patterns for big throws!
"Our aim is to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."
- Dane and Trevor