Less than 48 hours to go before the 27th Annual Tony Ciarelli Olympian Throws Clinic. Click here for clinic info.

Before I head off to SoCal tomorrow, I wanted to get out to you another throws coaching tip and video…

…this has been brewing in my head for a few weeks:

Learn how to teach and Throw the Shot Put and Discus right the first time.

Seems to make perfect sense, right?

The 160/50 foot ceiling is a real thing, and by that I mean teaching technique that looks ok, but that will limit the throwers ability to go beyond 160/50; for girls I’d call it the 120/35.

This is an issue because 106’/50′ is the ceiling that the better athletes will reach.

The average or below average athletes will hit a shorter ceiling, where the better athletes will work hard and hit the maximum ceiling.

Average athletes will simply fall short and a kid that could potentially be a 150′ guy will be a 130′ guy if he’s lucky.

This ceiling is a technical limitation.

Movement inefficiency is the issue and this is a problem because when you teach things slightly incorrect, they become the dominant patterns and the potential of the thrower drops.

For example, I have a very good athlete right now…

Strength levels are good, and he looks pretty smooth in the ring; ok size at about 6’1/ 215lbs…

…and breaking his 160/foot technical ceiling has been nothing short of a total pain in the a$$.

He was never really taught to do the wind-up correctly (pillar 1). He was taught to turn and drop in pillar 2, which prohibits him from properly loading his left leg out of the back and the TCR™ gets compromised.

He was also taught to jump at the finish and kind of switch the feet in the air—DON’T JUMP!

When a thrower jumps, the power goes vertical instead of “out and into” the throw.

These are 2 things that completely crush his immediate and long term potential:

  • The first big issue being the drop in Pillar 2.
  • The second being the issue that what he learned so far has hit his technical ceiling.

If you want to throw farther, you need knowledge about technique that will open up your potential to 170′ plus… and that level of throwing is a whole other level of throws coaching knowledge!

…160′ technique is a lot better than not learning anything at all, but my point is, when crucial details are missed and when the technique is off by just a little bit, the thrower is missing out on achieving Arete, his maximum potential.

Years ago, I had a discussion with a coach who was teaching 160/50 technique. So when he got the outlier stud, they would throw 160/170 (maybe catch at 180) and 60 feet. Basically a kid with the tools to throw 200 and 65+ using the TCR™.

So one day this coach showed me a picture of one of his more talented throwers and said, “This guy threw 185′, and you’re telling me that’s not a good position to teach?”

I replied, “Well, it’s a good position for a kid in his 3rd or 4th year of throwing, but that position can still be improved a lot.” I pointed out a few things and gave him reasons why, but he didn’t like my answer… which is fine, you can’t help everyone.

I believe that if you limit your knowledge of the throw, you limit your thrower from reaching their optimal potential!

Always be open to learning more… more is good. I will never stop learning, and I hope you will join me—for the love of the sport!

It’s just like I wrote back on an earlier email…

When you think you know it all, that’s when you’re totally screwed.

At any rate, if you are looking to maximize your athletes, don’t make the mistake of teaching subpar technique, ESPECIALLY in the development phase—that’s really crushing to the thrower.

And to avoid that, use the Throwing Chain Reaction™ System. 😉 Get your key details clear. Once the TCR™ system is learned, making changes is 10x easier.

Here’s a quick tip you can take to practice:

Winding up right is Pillar 1. It’s the beginning. And there’s a ton of stuff happening. I’m sending a clip from our recent ATN-TCR throws camp.

Lot of good nuggets in this bad boy. Check it out!

We will be editing this footage to add to the members’ area very soon.

Until after the big throws clinic in So Cal… build a higher ceiling!

– Coach Johnson