Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Modified Approach

I had trouble with my approach at Drake. I added two carry steps this year (running forward with the javelin over your head; each left foot strike counts as a step), making my approach four carry steps and three crossovers. Last year, I used two carry steps and three crossovers, meaning that my approach this year got a lot longer, less aggressive, and more likely to have mistakes in it.

The point of adding more carry steps is to get more speed by the end of the approach. Unfortunately, if you don't use that speed correctly, there is absolutely no reason to include the extra steps! Acceleration is one of the most important factors in good javelining, so if you're not accelerating throughout your approach, something is wrong. Take a look at this video of my best attempt at Drake.

Pretty constant speed, not much acceleration, just blah all the way through, slow left leg at the end.

Yesterday, I had a good throwing session. We're throwing 700-gram javelins right now, and I've been pleased with how my last few practices have gone. At the end of throwing sessions, we practice approaches. After one mock approach using four carry steps yesterday, Ty simply said, "You just look tired." I felt tired.
By the end of that long approach (distance runners, no laughing) I was just feeling lost and scatter-brained,
so we decided to shorten it by one carry step. Huge difference. I'm very excited about using this slightly shorter approach! I feel more comfortable at the end of it and much more ready to throw far out of it than the extended version. I can accelerate throughout instead of feeling like I have to hold something back for the end. I'm pretty pumped to put it to the test in Rome next Thursday. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Drake Relays

I went to Drake Relays! I threw the javelin. I hung out with my family! I came home.
Those were my emotions this weekend. I was excited to go to the meet, but for some reason not that pumped about actually throwing my implement. I wanted to throw far, but the process of actually using my body to do it was somehow boring once I arrived at the competition venue.
I couldn't (or wouldn't) get my energy up and hold my technique together simultaneously.
By the end of my six throws, I was moving decently fast on the runway, but nothing held solid at the end of my approach to give the javelin any energy. I ended up throwing 57.74m (189'5") on my final attempt. I had two other 57m throws, and one farther sector foul (when the javelin lands outside its designated target area, which is large).

I know what I need to fix. In the meet, I tried to focus on all of the technical things we have been working on in practice. The problem was that I tried to focus on all of the technical things we have been working on in practice! When I get to a competition, I need to have laser focus on a few very important technical cues, and execute them to the best of my ability. I simply am out of practice at that kind of mindset, and I'm excited to get back to it in practice in the next few weeks.

I also think that it is extremely important to always be thinking about where you want to end up. At Drake, I was just throwing to throw at Drake. I didn't have a fire in my belly about hitting this season's distance goal or competing simply to throw the farthest I possibly could or preparing myself to throw at USAs/Worlds to the best of my ability. Striving to constantly be better is something that I always want to do, but an idea I forgot about last Friday.

Moving on. :) It has been confirmed that I will compete in the first women's javelin Diamond League event in Rome, Italy on May 26! I'm really looking forward to it, because last year I missed out on the first two Diamond League meets for my event. It will be really nice to begin the race on the actual starting line this year!