The National Throws squad was fortunate to have a superb feast of throwing expertise on hand for the benefit of Irish throwers at their last Squad Weekend of 2012 on December 8th & 9th.
As part of the overall Athletics Ireland Coaching conference series, the National Throws Coordinator David Sweeney has tried to provide focus to each of the individual events in the form of international coaching expertise. The December squad was a little bit special with Hammer throwers and coaches benefitting from the visit of 2000 Olympic Champion Szymon Ziolkowski (Poland). Szymon brought Irish throwers on a fascinating 2-day education of hammer technique and the specific training required for elite hammer throwing.
Although Szymon insisted that he is still an athlete rather than a coach, he showed great skills in communicating and demonstrating hammer technique and practice drills. Over the course of the weekend, the throwing group visibly improved and definitely left with a lot of food for thought about how they would approach training in the future.
Irish throwing is indebted to Polish equipment supplies company Polanik and their agent in Ireland Prosporteurope.com and in particular Brian Price for helping arrange the visit of Szymon Ziolkowski.
Javelin throwers and coaches around the country were treated to 2 days under the tutelage of Swiss National Coach Terry McHugh (Irish javelin record holder and multi-Olympian). Terry coached a number of small groups in Dublin on Friday before leading the National squad on Saturday. The squad day varied between technical talks, practical throwing sessions and video analysis and feedback to all throwers on the day. This group too went away inspired to take on the next block of training.
Former Irish international and Senior UK Coach Garry Power travelled from England to take the Discus squad. The discus group gelled very well and Power commented on the significant talent on display, giving praise to the job that Irish athletes and coaches have been doing to date.
A smaller group were on Shot Put duty under John Farrelly, (due to a number of last minute apologies with flu symptoms the common denominator) but significantly this group who have been consistently in attendance, have made considerable progress.
All groups again came under the supervision of Laura Kerr (Strength & Conditioning coach) for individual functional movement screening and technical development on Strength training. This regular session is a very welcome addition to the National squads and it has resulted in significantly improved movement qualities being made by athletes.
All in all, this was a very successful day for Irish throwing – an excellent way to wrap up 2012 and send athletes and coaches off with lots of positive thoughts about what 2013 may hold in store. The next squad is planned for 19th January 2013 at Tullamore where it is hoped to carry on the excellent momentum built up this year.