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  • Learning to Throw

    How would someone go about learning to throw in the Highland games without having anyone near by to coach them? Are there any good quality DVDs out there for learning throwing technique, or folks who do distance training out there in the world? Leaning to throw and competing in the games has been something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, I figure it's either now or never.
    Strength is a marathon, not a sprint.

  • #2
    http://www.ryanvierrausa.com/documents/faq.html

    I imagine there are more and I know there are tons of You Tube videos out there. I have seen Ryan's and it is pretty good.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jonathan Umpherville View Post
      How would someone go about learning to throw in the Highland games without having anyone near by to coach them? Are there any good quality DVDs out there for learning throwing technique, or folks who do distance training out there in the world? Leaning to throw and competing in the games has been something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, I figure it's either now or never.
      You'll have a blast with the Games Jon. I sure did. Still miss them but there's something about the torquing spins that gives my back the feeling that it might re-injure a back injury I got lifting in December of 2010. I did two Games in 2010 and loved them both. And I think if my back hadn't let me down I'd still be doing the Games and grip would be on the back burner.

      Videos are good if you can't get the real thing. But you can watch all the videos in the world and not "GET" a simple or complex technique. Doesn't have to be a coach to give you some great beginning help. Find someone who at least throws - preferably an A group amateur (not sure if the categories are the same in Canada) if possible. Then bribe them to give you a few hours of instruction on the basics.

      The sooner you have someone - in person - help you with your throwing, the sooner you can start making your practice as perfect as you can get it. You know the old saying - "Practice makes perfect." Practice is definitely not perfect if you're practicing the wrong technique or a faulty technique that will have more likelihood of injuring you as you progress with your Games training.

      If you can't find someone to help you, enter a Games as soon as possible. That might be the opposite of what you think is the best route. But at least at a Games you'll be able to get some feedback from the other competitors on what you're doing right and what needs a ton of work. Then you can narrow down your video purchases that way to the ones that need immediate help vs. those that you are halfway decent on for now.

      If you ever make your way to the States and want to get your feet wet in a very beginner-friendly Games just let me know. Kirksville, Missouri has one every year - put on by the well known Thom Van Vleck (a friend of mine) and he is not only very friendly but willing to help anyone from a raw beginner to the elite pros who sometimes go to him for help.

      At the Kirksville Games I competed in (2010) the range of athletes competing was incredible. I had 1 Games under my belt. Others had a few. There were also some A-level amateur guys there that had a lot of experience. Then there were some very well known pros there. They still made me feel welcome and I had a very friendly pro (Chad Gustin) show me a technique - and I didn't even ask him to show me. He volunteered his time on a break. That's phenomenal when you think about it. Especially considering his level vs. mine.
      http://goalorientedtraining.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        Thanks Ben! Sadly I don't have anyone near me to help coach throwing, the closest are a small group of guys in Winnipeg and that is an 8 hour drive for me there, and 8 hours back. That isn't very practical for me right now. I think I will take the Snail route with throwing and start off with lighter weight, say 10# for Weight for distance since WFD and WOB are the only things I really feel I need help in coaching. I have thrown hammer before, and I know how to put a stone, and the caber is what I am best at. I just need to get my core stronger and slowly practice technique I suppose. I may join a heavy games forum and see if there is anyone who would be willing to give me some minor coaching. I am not looking to set records I just want to throw well, have fun, and not bring shame to the tartan I will be wearing when I finally stick my head into a competition.

        I will no doubt take you up on the offer to eventually visit the states and give 'er a go there though. I do believe that some Reuben sandwiches and beers are long over due between the two of us.
        Strength is a marathon, not a sprint.

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        • #5
          You tube has some instructional videos if you search.
          Like you said a HG site like NASGA will help tremendously.
          Lots of experienced competitors post there and lots of beginner info.
          Make your own implements and practice the best you can and experiment with different ways of throwing them.
          Get into a novice or C class games and just make it through the day and have fun.
          You will learn a lot at the games if you go C class from the other competitors.
          It is a challenging sport to learn 8 or 9 events and try to be good at them.
          You'll find where you need the work once you do a games.
          I would consider going to the practice group you have to drive to once a month if you can.
          Hands on instruction from experienced athletes is the best form of learning what and how to do events.
          Good luck to you.

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          • #6
            I started highland games throwing at the start of this year, Im 53 and have never had anythrowing experiance before this apart from school

            I watched loads and loads of videos, I was lucky enough too to have a 2/3 hour training session with scott rider, but that was right at the start of the season and as he says i just need to get my numbers up on all the throws

            I have competed at 2 comps this year and all the guys and ladies have been really helpfull

            Im going to watch the games at Braemar and compete the day after at Blairgwrie in september

            Start with the basic easier versions of the movements and get used to all the throws that way....... it allows you to compete quite quickly then addin the more technical parts of the lift later, my WFD technique was very basic 2 step throw but Im working on that and moving to 3 step

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