I arrived in London on the evening of Wednesday, August 2nd. As soon as I got into the city, I was driven by the IAAF group to my hotel where I met with Alex Rose and Jeremy Dodson, Somoan athletes, Alex being my discus thrower. Alex decided he wanted to throw that Thursday, one day before his competition, while my shot putter Tim Nedow decided to throw at the same time as Alex because he wanted a day off before his competition on Saturday. My third athlete, Nik Arrhenius had decided to take Thursday off as a rest day and a chance to the see the Olympic stadium. I was quickly reminded that I was there to coach, NOT to sit in awe of all the popular throwers with whom I study their technical work in the circle.
The training session went very well. Alex was throwing with Martin Kupper and Whitney Ashley, while Tim had the circle to himself. Alex took two non-reverses, followed by four full throws. The cues to move his weight around the left and to finish forward seemed to put him in a great position. On his third and fourth fulls, he smashed them over 64 meters and we decided he was in perfect shape to cut the session and mentally prepare for the next day’s qualifying.
Tim took three stands, 5 half turns and then 10 full throws. He had a big stand well over 17 meters, a few halves over 18.50 while his best full throws were peppering around 20.30, consistently over 20 meters with every throw. We focused on getting his right down with an upright posture, his left leg rotating to the corner and then staying grounded as long as he was comfortable on the finish. He was in excellent qualifying shape and we figured he would need 20.10-20.30 to qualify (boy were we wrong).
They stretched out, took some Earth Fed Muscle and then headed back to the hotel for some dinner and excellent cheesecake! At the hotel we saw Tom Walsh, some of the best Kenyan runners and one of the French discus throwers. It was at this point I realized I was starting to view these individuals as competitors, not as the great athletes they are.
Part 2 of this series will include analysis of the qualifying competitions!
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