Mac Wilkins competed in the throws for 23 years, he made four Olympic teams and broke the world record in the discus four times. He also won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. It's no wonder he is in the USATF Hall of Fame.
He has been no less influential as a coach, instructing all levels and all ages of throwers in the Northwest. He is the throws coach at Portland's Concordia University, an NAIA school, and has built one of the strongest programs in the country. He also spearheaded the development and construction of the Concordia Throws Center, a world-class training and competition venue that is home to two U.S. high school records (Cousins Sam and Ryan Crouser hit their best marks there).
DyeStat asked Wilkins for a few tips that he could pass along to high school throwers.
Here are a few things to think about for rotational shot put and discus throwers:
* The hardest thing to do is go slow in the unwind and first turn. Beginners often go too fast, leading with the left arm and head.
* When throwers go too fast, they eliminate the power of the right leg lever and it puts them in a position to throw using only the upper body. At that point, they can only make an arm throw.
* If you can't see the horizon, or objects on the horizon ad you unwind all the way around to the target, then you are going too fast.
* Slowing it down is counter intuitive. It's NOT what your instincts tell you to do. But the degree to which you can conquer your instincts is the measure of your skill in the throws.
* A note for anyone who plays golf: This is just like rushing your back swing. It is counter productive.