It’s Friday morning and I wanted to send you a tip while I’m flying to California for the 27th Annual Tony Ciarelli Olympian Throws Clinic. Rain or Shine we are gonna grind! (Thankfully we have access to indoor facilities to work.)

Just under 24 hours ’til the clinic.

Today will be packed with all the business stuff I have to manage for ATN SoCal and the clinic, and of course a private throws coaching session. I’m humbled that people drive several hours or fly thousand of miles to work with me. It’s a real honor and I’m grateful.

Yesterday, I talked about the 160/50 ceiling… I’m going to change that to 50/50 vs 70m/70.

That means 50m in discus/50ft in shot versus 70m in the discus and 70ft in the shot…. We want to teach 70/70, not 50/50.

If you didn’t read yesterday’s tips or see the video clip covering the pillar 1 wind up 2 drill, click here to check it out.

Last night I was talking to the dad of one of my future superstar athletes/TCR™ student about how we want to teach 70/70 using the TCR™ from day one.

His son is working the TCR™ system since last year, and now has a much deeper understanding (and incredible feel)…

… so now he is working at a much more advanced level compared to last year. Next year it will be even more advanced!

However… and there is a BIG  H O W E V E R!!

… there is a logical progression to all of this!

What I mean is, we want to teach and coach the 6 pillars of the TCR™ system from day one because this equips the thrower with a 70/70 level of throws coaching… The TCR in my opinion is definitely 70/70.

Therefore, early in the development cycle, we will spend more time on the essential drills – we will do a lot of pillar essential pillar drills.

Below is an example of this progression for rotational throws


CRAWL: We begin with The TCR™ prep

  • DISCUS- work on how to carry the discus and drag it behind, or in other words, locking it back by flexing the triceps and posterior delt to hold it in place, and do a lot of discus skips and bowling to improve comfort holding the discus and releasing it.
  • SHOT PUT- practice proper position of the elbow and on the neck, how to hold the shot in the hand and fingers, and how to keep the elbow level and thumb down during release.

WALK/ JOG: TCR™ drills as follows…

  • PILLAR 1 Wind up, first
  • PILLAR 2 center of mass shift & 90 degree walk arounds
  • PILLAR 3 8:45 drop ins (pillars 2-3), sprint counters
  • PILLAR 3- 4 Puddle jumps 1-2-3
  • PILLAR 3-4 modified wheel repeats
  • PILLAR 5 elevator drops
  • PILLAR 6 block leg/am stops & transfers

SPRINT: Once a thrower is comfortable with that, we advance the thrower with additional drills

  • For example, Jason Harrell is now top 5 in the US and we are drilling the crap out of his pillar 6 and are on a 500 pre-block target for pillar connection in a week and a half. So we are taking 50-75 pre blocks per practice.
  • We will focus on more acute details of the pillar drills and he would do the same drills as our high school kids; throwing anywhere from 100-180 feet.
  • His implementation of pillar connection becomes more advanced, more detailed, and more precise.
  • All my throwers learn the same things, but as they better understand the TCR™system, they will shift their drill focus- i.e Jason really doesn’t need to do modified wheel repeats, or push pull drills for pillar 3-4 work. That is mastered.
  • However, he still works pillar 6 block arm stops, and like I said, a ton of pre-blocks from pillar connections (I’ll post that video likely tomorrow).

Now the key when teaching the TCR™ system is to teach 70/70, the ratio of drill movements (pillar drills) to throwing drills (pillar connection).

Younger throws have a higher ratio of drills combined with throws. More advanced throwers—like Jason—have a higher number of pillar connection with specific pillar drills to address details of his throw.

I’m trying to take him from 62m to 66m this year—working towards 70m. Now, lifting and all that is a major factor as well, but we’ll save that for another day.

Hopefully you see the point!

A youth thrower does a lot of basic pillar work: crawling and jogging. My average high school thrower does essentially the same thing because basic mastery is essential before moving forward.

My elite high school thrower will start to work details of the 6 pillars: jogging and sprinting.

Pro & Post Collegiate throwers, like Jason, will be working acute details of the six pillars: sprinting.


The key is teach the right mechanics from day one, and the TCR™ system teaches 70/70 from day 1.

When you poke around YouTube, you’ll see guys talking advanced concepts. I think some are right, some are half right, and some are so wrong it’s a detriment to throwers and coaches.

You can subscribe to Arete Throws Nation TV here

When new throwers, or new coaches, come across more advance throwing content (the sprint) on YouTube – the good, the bad, or the ugly – they will try to apply it to the crawl or walk level throwers, and this results in disaster…

… it’s a huge mistake.

Or worse case scenario, the throws content is completely wrong and is worse than 50/50 technique (meaning 160/50)!!!

I often say, don’t look at my 70 footers, my top 5 US discus thrower, or my 185/60+ /150/50 girl thrower….

… Look at the girls I’ve coached to 135/38 in a few months, boys that went from 100′ to 150′ plus quickly, or from 45ft to 52+ feet.

They are my best examples of what a great throws system and good coaching can do… they are the best examples of what I’m talking about.

When you teach the throws using the TCR™ system from day one, the results are bigger, better, and faster. Click here to check it out

So learn the Throwing Chain Reaction™ of the throw to avoid the pitfalls of getting caught teaching mediocre or plain incorrect shot put and discus technique.

As you go out to practice today or over the weekend, strive to teach 70/70. Use the TCR™system, and focus on the right things and the right progression.


Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door. (Lol. I hope you all get that reference. Boy, I’m gettin’ old…)

Train smarter!
– Coach Johnson