shot put and discus throw plan and programs


It’s a beautiful spring feeling day here in Phoenix, and my Arizona throwers all kick off their official season this past weekend- with a BANG!

  • Tyson Jones 64’11 ½” in the shot and 181’8” in the discus
  • Dante Blisset 172’ 2 ½” and 48’3”
  • Tim Fitzgerald 52’ & 140 ( Fouled multiple 150)

We had boys from all levels, ranging from 41′ to 65′ and girls from 24’ to 35’ in shot and girls discus ranging from 65′ to 110′

My best female discus thrower will opened this week!

The Southern Cal group had PR’s across the board as well.

Like any year, I will have some super stars and some hard working kids that will get better, and better every week.

Since it’s Monday, and after a busy weekend of meets and coaching, it’s time to dive back in and review what adjustments my various plans need…

…and I wanted to ask you- “What does your plan look like?”

Each year we get nearly 100% of our athletes to PR at the first meet of the season for a reason…

… it’s because that’s the plan- Not the want.

It’s designed to happen that way!

One of the things I discuss to our TCR™ coaches, is that I set up a 3 peak plan for the season.

I craft a plan for opening season PR’s, Mid-season big invite PR’s, and Championship season PRs.

For the super stars, they will go on a 4th peak cycle to hit big throws at Junior nationals, or over seas after USA’s.

“How?” you may be asking…

The answer is simple. Programming. The program is the plan.

I personally like to see my athletes hit the start of the year with big PR’s because it sets the tone for the season. It builds confidence, and then I can begin to train them through the early season meets that are not as big a deal.

This is all inside our TCR™system at the Alpha Coach membership level.

When I was at an invitational this past weekend to coach some of my kids, I saw a lot of solid athletes with no real plan or coaching.

That’s not a criticism, it’s an observation. Too many coaches are simply not prepared to teach the events.

And one thing I tend to notice is a lot of overdeveloped high school guys. That’s the “meat head lifting plan” and a lot of girls with serious strength deficits (visual weaknesses). Both scenarios will mean a lot of potential is left on the table..

A well-designed lifting plan is a big part of a thrower’s success.

A solid program controls the outcome of the performance.

When throwers or coaches understand how to layout the thrower’s plan, you begin to control the performance window.

For Arete coaches and throwers, we use block periodization method for training, and it’s pretty simple once you understand how it works.

There’s a program block to gain size, a program block to get strong, and a program block to peak. In season throwing corresponds according to the block.

In block periodization, this is referred to as Accumulation, Transmutation, and Realization. Here’s where you control volume of throws and the weight room for specific outcomes.

Sadly, some programs have no lifting, some do include extensive lifting, but the program is random and too linear, meaning they are targeting a peak weekend vs. a peak window, and if the peak time gets off track for any variety of reasons, the peak is easily missed.

Today’s tip is about realizing, that not only do you need to structure your throws plan, you need to structure the lifting plan to maximize the throwing plan. You need to learn how to lay out your season plan.

The plan makes life easier. And it greatly increases the odd of success.

Don’t try to do everything at one time.

That’s what’s most important. Don’t try to get bigger, stronger, faster, add plyo’s, add agility, and do some conditioning all at the same time…

Throws training needs to be throwing specific and the goal for throwers is to do training that makes the thrower better.

Too many programs try to include everything, but the kitchen sink.

Throwers can’t do it all at once. The body need to be given less to learn faster.

It is easier to learn Spanish, or easier to learn, Spanish, French, and German at the same time?

The answer should be obvious…

… Therefore, your plan should have the same type of focus.

When athletes are focused on the goals of the block, it’s easier to control outcomes.

Learn how to do less, to get more!

If you don’t have a multiple peak plan, you’re leaving results on the table.

Simplify the complexity, for a better plan!!

– Coach Johnson

shot put and discus throw coaching how to

10 Necessities + 5 Intangibles = A Lot Of Combinations

I want to quickly welcome all the new coaches that joined over the last 72 hours. Please be sure to join our FB group. You should have received an email by now inviting you to join..

… and if you are not on Facebook, JOIN! …. Don’t fear 2017 technology- Lol

Social media is becoming more and more a part of everyday life with each passing year. I say this because I notice that a little less than half of our online members are on the ATN members Facebook page.

Remember, it’s a private group, therefore, no one but the members in the ATN facebook group can see any content or posts… it’s a covert operation 😉

Make the 2017 season the best ever!

The outdoor season is finally here, and I feel that coaching rush. Time to dial guys in.

The biggest work has been done, and as we go through the season, it’ll be about managing everybody’s plan.

If you are a coach, or thrower who is just starting, you have a shorter window to address a lot of variables. So how do you cover the 6 pillars and complete your big throws check list?

Structuring practice and prepping for competition contains a lot of variables, and when I structure my plan for the season, I rely on… the 10 necessities:

The 10 necessities:

  1. The mental game
  2. The Lifting Game
  3. Nutrition
  4. Recovery
  5. Video analysis
  6. Technical Knowledge development game
  7. Drills
  8. Practice structure
  9. The Comp Prep game
  10. And of course, organizing all this

Then add in the 5 Intangibles:

  1. Genetics,
  2. Work Ethic,
  3. Current technical Level,
  4. Aptitude/Body Awareness, and
  5. Talent level

This throwing thing is a lot of work!

Now, if you are wanting to develop elite throwers, or even maximize throwers, this requires a proficiently knowledge base and a structure.

Yes, you’ve gotten yourself into a serious web of work. If you are serious about crushing it, that is.

The above 10 Necessities and the 5 Intangibles result in a number of combinations of thrower types.

Perhaps one day I’ll do a matrix, but in the meantime, the Alpha Coach membership level will help you look at all these variables and better understand how to create a solid throws program that truly produces results.

Using these 2 lists will result in every thrower having their own formula for success. (The TCR™ system covers that).

Coaching the throws and throwing is intense and to be good, you must be All In.

Once the season starts, you spend hours upon hours every day on all these variables and the better you are at organizing them, the better you season will be….

… and when you love it, you get lost in it.

I do love the season. Track is a great sport and the throws are awesome events!

We develop friendships that often start as kids, from across the country and the world, and share common passions, struggles, and experiences.

The Goal of ATN and the TCR™ system was to help create a structure for putting all this together in one spot.

Sure, there are books and DVDs, but I do kinda chuckle a bit when I see a 69min DVD that covers all the throws… and by ALL I mean Shot, Disc, Jav, and hammer!! That’s a lot of technique in only 69 min…

.. Then you have YouTube.

There is a lot of good stuff out there, but a lot of conflicting stuff too. And honestly, some really, really bad stuff…. mixed with plenty of confusing stuff.

Hence my vision for Arete Throws Nation. The goal was to create a true teaching system and provide the why…

  • Why the throw happens the way it does.
  • Why correct positions produce real results
  • Why incorrect positions plateau an athlete, or worst leave them so frustrated they quit

Perhaps this explains the hundreds of devoted coaches that have praised the TCR™ system and have obtained fantastic results!

The TCR™ system is having a ton of success, and I’m excited to see more and more coaches and throwers being added to the members area.

Shot Put and Discus are the events I enjoy the most and specialize in. In the TCR™ online system, we offer hours of throws coaching content covering everything I mentioned in the lists…

…. and in my opinion I think the TCR™ system has only scratched the surface.

… and that drives me to continue to create more and more content for you.

I truly believe it’s the best and most complete Throws coaching structure out there.

The Throwing Chain Reaction is real. Its science… and once you see how it works, it’s a game changer.

What builds success as a coach is the ability to simplify complex information, and to do that you need structure.

When coaching throwers, or for those throwers coaching themselves….

It’s easy to get pulled in multiple directions while searching for solid throws coaching content, but again, the goal of the TCR™ system is to keep everything focused and seeing the causes of technical problems and “the why” which in turn helps simplify the complexity.

So, as you put together your season, Organize the variables above.

If you are a member. I suggest reviewing the TCR™ in phase every few weeks.

Again, it’s great to see throwing clubs and coaches all over the world join Arete Throws Nation and ready to put the TCR™ system to work.

I’m looking forward to hearing more success stores.

Please share your questions or successes in the members only Facebook group. We had a lot of championships won last year and I want to be able to make a list…. It’s pretty awesome!

Organize your plan of attack for the season for… better, bigger and faster throws.

– Coach Johnson

how to throw shot put and discus far

Comp Time: Preparing To Throw Far

So, today I want to welcome all the new members that have taken advantage of our “Beginning of the Season” Offer we have going on right now < see below> and joined this past weekend…

…. And one special member in particular- Reece Hoffa!

Not another guy named Reece Hoffa… The Reece Hoffa, the Legend himself.

…and let me tell you, I take that as a huge complement. So, welcome Coach Hoffa and to all the other coaches.

Now that I’ve rambled a bit, let’s dive into the week.

A lot of people in the warm weather are starting their season, and most will open this weekend or this week.

So, what are you doing specifically to be ready for this season?

As the season begins, throwers need to be prepared for competition. I know that is a “no duh Coach!” statement, but you’d be surprised how many are not PROPERLY prepared!

What I suggest you do to prepare is mock a competition scenario in training.

It’s a great exercise for throwers; simple and effective.

What this means is, throwers get 4-5 warm-ups and then it’s time to throw far.

Too many throwers take 10, 12, or 15 throws before they throw far….

… Throwers won’t get that luxury in meets!

At most invites, at all levels, there is less time given for warm ups.

Usually a max of 2-3 times in the ring for the disc and usually about 4-6 throws in the shot. That should mean 4-6 throws…assuming every kids has 2 discs…

…. but in the shot, that’s about all you will get- Sometimes it’s less!

Mocking comps is an important exercise in training with the TCR™ system- I want my throwers ready to go and crush it.

Additionally, I don’t like my throwers leaving their big throws in warm-up either, so they should be ready to blast big throws by the 5th, 6th, 7th, throw.

Really reenact the meet scenario.

Dual meets are a bit more relaxed, but in invites you gotta be ready to go.

Here’s what a mock competition should look like.

  • Active warm-up, Jog-skips carioca’s etc., – Break a sweat. A real warm-up
  • Warm-up throws. Throwers should be ready in 5-6 or less. Throwers don’t get 10 warm-ups in meets, so mirror competition. Throwers need to get in and focus on dialing it in and be ready to go.
  • then 4-6 comp throws (Side rant; this 4 throw rule all over the country is total BS!! Throwers deserve 6. Some invite still have 6, but others just 4 throws. That sucks!!)
  • Fouls count. Toes fouls, Exit, the back half of the circle. If the scratch, No mark.
  • Keep the technical focus simple. I think a big mistake made my new coaches and throwers is they think about too much. That’s a recipe for disaster too.

In these mock meet scenarios, many throwers will have 2 or 3 fouls, and this is good because they need to

  1. learn how to not do that, and
  2. learn how to deal with it if it does.

(because, believe me, it happens to every thrower at some point in their career)

This is a something I encourage all throws coaches and throwers to simulate.

Coaches need to understand how their throwers respond to the pressures of competition.

Some kids respond to the coach getting a little fired up. Some kids need the coach to remain calm, as they will feed off your stress!

As a rule, I’m pretty mellow in meets, I want my throwers relaxed, and focused, No extra stress from me. We’ve done the work. Time to have fun. Meets are supposed to about getting pumped up, but not too pumped up.

After we are done with the mock meet process, we take more throws and work on technique, but mocking the comp process is a great way to prep for the competition.

The more they do it in training, the better they will be in competition.

As the season openers approach, this is typically done at least once a week.

My guys that opened this past week went through the above scenario: they warmed up, then started the comp and we covered the 5 points above.

I only had 2 AZ kids in my group compete, but both PR’d in the Discus… and for Weston, that meant a new AZ AA State record, and he beat his own school record- 172’3”

I trained them through this meet, but I always like my young guys to kick out PR’s in the first 2 weeks of the season. Sets the tone for Big meets.

Peaking is something covered in the Strength Training course in the Alpha Coach program of our online membership.

So, in addition to mocking the meet, we isolated the technical cues and dialed in the right rhythm.

I like to have them confident and ready.

When its comp time, the adrenaline of the first meet becomes their best friend because they are ready physically, technically, and mentally.

So, as your season openers begin, make sure that, at a minimum, one practice before the meet, you recreate the meet scenario so they are ready to throw far.

Compete like a monster and throw far!!

Coach Johnson


glide shot technique set up

Quick Tip Friday: Glide Shot Put Technique- Set it up right

When new throwers begin, I’m a firm believer they should learn to glide.

Throwing, as a rule, is totally unnatural, therefore, I think it’s very beneficial to teach the glide.. and of course to teach it right.

The key?!

Learn the TCR™ system of course. Lol.

But truthfully, the key is setting up an effective Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, and in this short video I pulled a clip from training the other day with one of my first-year gliders.

He was setting up his Pillar 1 incorrectly, and that changes the CM (center of mass) so that each time he tries to pull in and kick, he begins to fall off balance, instead of loading and setting his body into a dynamic position.

It’s always about the Throwing Chain Reaction™.

Learn it right the first time, and spend less time correcting the mistakes.

Have a great Friday and Glide on!!

Coach Johnson

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