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Misunderstood Recruiting: Raw vs. Trained

You work your butt off day in and day out. You lift hard, you throw well, you understand technique. You LIVE to throw far. You want to be the best you possibly can be. You want to be an NCAA All-American, break school records and throw deep. But you are a little short. Maybe your school of choice is recruiting a “raw talent.” Is this something that is bothersome? Is this something that needs to be addressed?


Last week, we covered the Pattern of Growth for elite throwers at the high school level. We dove deep into what it takes to throw far, to understand the progression of throws from year to year and how long it may take to achieve a certain distance.

Let’s say you are one of those throwers on path to shatter those big marks. Maybe you have contacted your college of choice, you have shown them your progression from year to year, you send them training videos and you are ready to continue to impress them with your long term work ethic geared toward the sport of throwing.

In walks a behemoth of a high school thrower. Maybe you are throwing 60 feet, you are 5’11, you work hard and you love every aspect of training. On the other side is the behemoth thrower. He is 6’5, takes 50 foot standing throws and full throws 54 feet. He is “raw.” After 2-3 months of courting, your college of choice drops the bomb on you. They chose the behemoth over you. What gives?!?!

Here are the top 3 reasons why work ethic SHOULD ALWAYS win over “raw talent.”

Work ethic is invested.

Workers are invested in the sport. I will never forget when I was in college and Ryan Whiting was in high school getting recruited. Everyone was talking about his size and speed but one thing that his high school coach, Glenn Thompson kept pointing out that trumped everything…? HIS WORK ETHIC! Ryan could be found in his high school gym, smashing throws, he could be found on the weekend training under Glenn’s tutelage in the snow, he was a full student of the sport. There have been plenty of monsters that have come through the collegiate ranks but FEW have been as dedicated and invested in the sport as Ryan Whiting. That work ethic is what separated him from everyone else. His ability to understand the spin, to understand the competitions, to understand the training, that is why he is now known as one of the best shot putters in American history!