Future Olimpian Javelin Throwers – THE COMPETITIVE EDGE DEVELOPMENT
THE COMPETITIVE EDGE DEVELOPMENT by George Herczeg
“Start them young” as we say. The competitive edge development for youth athletics (young throwers as well) is to enjoy competing and learning about your own ‘winning mindset development’. Learn about focus, concentration, mental shift when you compete, stay in control. Kids must do a lot of cross-sports as long as possible (until 14-15), baskettball, swimming, football, baseball, volleyball, almost any sports. If you are a track person, keep in MIND the classic RUN-JUMP-THROW kids athletics program. Competing means developing the ‘I CAN DO IT!’ attitude, create a connection between the mind and body, control environment, understand the ATTACK mode. Be fearless when you step on the throwing line! Have your own RITUAL! Learn to relay your mind, improve concentration in all track events you do. Be ready for the big throw, even for the final 6th last throw. A competition never ends until the last thrower releases his/her javelin. Go to local meets, talk to senior thrower and ask them ‘what it takes to throw far’. Study the TOP 10 javelin throwers: Zelezny, Röhler, Parvianen, Hohn, Nemeth, Paragi, Spotakova, Öbergföll. Be a fanatic!
THROW YOUR JAVELIN FASTER!
The beginning (first year of training sessions) or a start is an important step in building a solid foundation in proper javelin throw mechanics, developing strength and flexibility, and acquiring confidence with kids athlete throwing program. When young athletes injure their throwing arm, besides poorly learned mechanics, many times it’s the thrower’s weak hips, trunk and legs, that contribute to the problem. When the legs, hips and trunk are weak, coupled with poor mechanics, the arm takes most of the stress of the throw. Throwing with arms only mean the wrong or no use of hips, trunk, legs and body. Whether it is the coaches’ or throwers’ fault, it is something that need to be changed. Once a javelin thrower learn how to throw with good mechanics, and understand how to train and then use their hips and trunk, they begin to throw with a more powerful yet effortless delivery. And of course with less stress to the elbow and shoulder.
Bodyspeed, legsspeed, armspeed, handspeed, quickness of reflexes, they are all important factors in achieving the fartest javelin throw distance. The athletes shoulder and arm act much like a slingshot during the javelin throw, releasing large amounts of focused energy. As we all remember David and Goliat’s Story, we understand the importance of focus and concentration of the throw. A precise movement right to the point!
There are thousands of kids with strong throwing arms. What separates them? Who becomes a good football or baseball or Javelin Thrower? Kids at early stages have no knowledge of the throwing mechanics, arm motions, arm and shoulder throwing power, or even the understanding of releasing large amounts of energy. They learn about skills and drills as they grow.
What is recommended for kids at 9-12 years of ages? Develope their throwing knowedge and skills:
- Start learning javelin throw drills, skills, competition rules, and everthing about javelin
- Creat goals and dreams
- Learn to be a humble and hard-working thrower
- Live a well-balanced life with family, friends, sport team
- Develop positive energy within, concentration, and visioning of the throw
Youth Throwers trainings and development at an early phase
Push-ups, sit-ups and running are all recommended. Before and after training kids must put aside with their coach 10-15 minutes of good stretching. This is where the muscles in shoulders stretch out and build up. Throwing rocks, Vortex balls, small balls, bamboo, Turbojav throw with standing and full motions for 15-20 minutes is critical to building velocity and helping kids throw faster later at javelin throw competitions. Keep in mind that much of arm speed is developed between 13-18 years of age. At earlier age Vortex balls, TurboJav and ball throws are the foundation for Javelin Throw. If you work on the good arm speed and throwing techniques, your javelin skills will become more effective.
What coaches need to focus on when kids at 9-12 / 13-15 years of ages learn javelin throw?
- Learn the proper throwing mechanics (over the head and shoulder)
- Become fit, eat well, avoid too much food
- Throw light staff and throw it fast! (rocks, balls, bamboo, TurboJav)
- Lear the AIM & ATTACK philosophy
- How to take care of the throwing arm to prevent javelin injuries (elbow, shoulder, back, anckle) also, safe and effective shoulder strength, core/hip strength and flexibility
- mental thoughness
The Basic nutritional advice: the goal is to maximize nutrients per calorie consumed. What that looks like on the table: Veggies first, legumes and grains, sparse meat and fish, good carbos. And, let kids understand that Nutrition is just another weapon for throwing farter and becoming a champion!
1. Eat Real Food (nothing processed, just fresh, as organic as possible to avoid pesticides and maximize nutrients).
2. Eat Mostly Vegetables, and eat vegetables first.
3. Eat in smaller portions– stop when you are 80% full. Go Lean, strong, and fast!
What coaches can teach later to teenage Javelin Throwers over the years (13-18 age group)?
- Stretch the tendons and ligaments crossing shoulder
- The expansion of the waist (enable the torso to rotate independently from the hips), lots of medicine balls exercise must be added to the base training
- Lower and relax the shoulders (help muscles that store energy, energy burst int he right time)
- Periodization of training intensities
- General athletic abilities and recovery processes
- A Teenage, Youth, Junior and an ELIT Javelin Thrower’s training intensities
Many teenage throwers would go first in the gym and do streghtening exercises, rather than speed work. Many of them throw hard, not pulling the javelin and throwing with full speed. Specific speed throw drills are a must even for a young thrower. There are very few things that can equal out arm and body speed, regardless of muscles size and body weight. Good throwing mechanics will give you the efficiency you need when you release your javelin. Fast legs, hips and arms are the base for the longest throw!
WHEN YOU FACE CHALLANGE
Choose one or two keywords as reminders about your performance. Practice your keywords during practice. This will help solidify the associations, making them more effective during your competitions.
Training Quickness of Mind and Right attitude For Throwing Faster
Teenage Javelin throwers need to analyze their own mindset. With the help of their coaches and team psychologist, they build focus on awareness and train for the quickness of mind. My suggestion is to practice everyday on throwing fast with light throw equipments (rocks, balls, Vortex).
Having the right attitude is critical to building faster throws. Harder throw is not faster throw. Throw faster means that you focus on speed and nothing else. Don’t focus on power or accuracy. Just pure speed, like a bullet leaves the pistole or when a solder step on the bomb (the bursting moment).
The biggest gift of coaching is a RELAXED THROW!
What can we teach kids about the relaxed throw? The ONLY way to move at your fastest speed is to be RELAXED! The most relaxed muscle has the most potential for moving at maximum speed. In all sports that you observe, you will see that it is the most relaxed athletes that outperform their opponents. Watch that the the most relaxed runners make the best sprinters! Throwing relaxed means throwing freely without tension and stress. Many kids at the beginning of their throwing career tighten their arm and hand all the time. Keep your shoulders loose, don’t flex your biceps or tighten any other part of your body before the throw. Remember, a relaxed body will move faster! And, at last but not least: FOCUS, AIM, LET GO OF FEAR AND ATTACK! – what our throwing expert Tom Petranoff teaches to our kids.
Kids throwers love massage!
Who would think that kids just love a 10-15 minutes massage on their body after training! Now, this may be a job for parents, a time when they can talk about training or a competition. A final stretch on the kids back, arms, hips and legs feels fantastic and they appreciate it even before a good night sleep!