Everyone wants to know the secret to success, to being great. We’d like to think there is a secret (and highly complex) formula that will amount to what we’ve always wanted. We see the best in our sport, watch their flawless movements, the power, how “easy” it looks and we want to know what secrets they’ve uncovered to reaching such greatness. However, while yes, there are steps that need to be taken to reach such mastery, it’s not as complex as we’d like to think it.
I get a lot of emails and messages from young throwers, master throwers, coaches, who have questions about my personal training, thoughts on training and I’m sure there are even more coaches and throwers who pay top money for clinics, talks, books and tapes from some of the greatest throwers and coaches of our time just to get let in on the secret.
I’m asked very specific questions, questions I myself have asked dozens of times, all in hopes of finding the secret. What drills do you do? How long? What lifts are best? How much do you lift? When do you lift? How often do you throw? How many throws do you take? And the list goes on and on.
But the secret doesn’t necessarily lie in a precise formula. Believe me, I’ve traveled the world and spoken with so many athletes/coaches and tried so many different types of training methods. While there are trying styles that are better than others, some you feel better than others, some that are just plain silly or dangerous, there isn’t a right and wrong way to success. They way the Germans train, the way the Russians train, the way the #1 and number #5 athlete all have their own systems.
So what is the secret to success if there isn’t a, well, secret?
Mastery of the basics.
Just that plain and simple. They do the common, uncommonly well. They are virtuosos in their fields. They are controlled, balanced, and efficient. Yes, they train hard and are strong and fast. But there are people much stronger, much faster that cannot replicate the same technique.
There is no set weights one can lift, one set speed one can reach that will guarantee the same results. The secret is and will always be technique.
Okay, so that’s no secret.
Well, when people tell me about how many drills they do and sometimes it’s a crazy number, I wonder what the drills look like? Are they practice with precision or simply run through quickly in order to finish? Are they deliberate or are numbered? Are they quality or are they quantity? When they throw in training? How is the quality of the throw? What is the focus of the practice, of each throw? Long wires, short wires, overweight, underweight? When you stop asking yourself what more you can add or change and how better to add quality to your training, you will start to find success.
Believe me, as someone who has tried many school of thoughts, success comes down to the basic of technique and fitness again and again. First and foremost, practice as much and as often to have focused, quality training in order to master the basic skills of your throw. Second, meet the physical training requirements to be optimally fit without sacrificing time and energy away from your technique or losing physical needed qualities.. i.e. don’t train so much strength you’re to slow or spend so much time training outside throwing you don’t have energy to recover or train quality thrower.
This is said again and again by some of the top minds in the throwing world. In fact, I’ve heard people’s displeasure with some of the top minds who share this secret. They say, “that can’t be it!” However, I believe many will find once they’ve mastered the very simplest basics, the need for complex training cycles and throwing will not be needed.