10TABLE OF CONTENTS
OCTOBER , 2007
Did Osaka give any Olympic clues?
GOLD, 1 SILVER, 1 BRONZE
Did the U.S. under-perform in Osaka?
Hoffa is king of the
John Godina: healthy again and ready to go
Highland & Discus Champion
Larry Brock is a new breed Highlander
And their importance in the discus
A scientific approach
OUT THE CLOSET
This and that
LOVE WHAT I DO”
From behind the lens
What a meet organizer should know
Brains behind Mastersrankings.com
from Harold Connolly
NUMBER ONE GUY
Hoffa’s 2007 was a Secretariat kind of year, notching a Triple Crown of
his own. Hoffa blasted
through the outdoor season sweeping the U.S. and World Championships, with
a huge PR in London in between. It could only be bigger in an Olympic year.
concluding his season, Hoffa talked with L&S about his PR,
championships victories, and planning for 2008.
You have to admit, you’ve had one helluva season. So how do
you prepare for next year? Are there things you could have done
better this year?
RH: The way I will
prepare for next year will be the same as I did this year. I am a
big believer in not changing a thing, because everything over the last
five years has been so good with high throwing performances and a number
one ranking. I think Don [Coach Babbitt, University of Georgia] does a
great job of putting the right amount of lifting and throwing early in the
year so that I can continue to get stronger and continue to work on my
technique without feeling too run down. This is a key for me to continue
to put up big numbers in the ring and stay consistent.
One thing I would change is to not do as many meets. I think that I did
too many meets back to back without enough rest and recovery. I did
have some technical flaw in my technique that started during indoors, but
I was too afraid to go back and try to fix the problems. Luckily for me I
went to Madrid and had a technical meltdown. The performance in Madrid
made me fix the problem and the rest is history. I also feel that I
should have brought my wife over to Europe at least one time because she
is missing out on some cool things that the meets are doing specifically
for the shot put. Like in London when they put the shot in the
middle of the field.
do you think were the keys to your success this year? Stronger?
Technique? Better competitor?
RH: The key to my
success is to not follow the latest fad in training and doing what makes
me great which is following the same routine as I have done for the last
eight years. I can definitely say that I have gotten stronger but I
have not made big jumps in strength. As I improve in the weight room
I also make improvements in the ring. For me they have to go hand
and hand because if I get too strong too fast then I would loss my feel in
the ring and lose control of how I throw. My technique on the other
hand is always a work in progress I have some aspects of my throw that are
staying the same but I have made slight changes in the way that I come out
of the back of the ring and even foot position out the back of the ring.
I have changed a few cues to help me with the feel of my body as it moves
through the ring. I am very much a feel thrower, and for some reason
I cannot focus on something while I am throwing. To me, it is as if
when I hit the single leg out the back of the ring I go blind all I have
is the feel of where my arm or foot is in the ring I cannot see them to
make sure they are in the right position. It is all of the little things
that Don and I do during the season that has dictated my success and
consistency over the course of this year.
you consider Osaka the highlight of your year? If so, what would you
rank it on a scale of 1 to 10 (highest). And how would you rank your
monster throw in London and the USATF victory?
RH: Osaka would
have to be the highlight of the year. I would have to give it a
‘10’ in terms of where I am in my career to date. I hope to have
more throws at important meets that are equal to or better than the mark
at Worlds. The performance that I gave on that day is incredible. I would
give London a ‘9’ because I did not expect to throw that far. I was
only hoping for something that was just far enough to win. The mark at
London just showed me a little bit of what I can do if I am properly
motivated. It also showed me that one small technical change could
yield a monster throw. USA Nationals was more of a ‘7’ because
not all throwers were on that day. I think that I went into that meet and
focused on the throw, not the wet ring. I hope that next year we
will have dry conditions and all the throwers can put on a show for the
fans during the OlympicTrials. I definitely want show the people in the
U.S. that I can throw 22 meters on American soil.
prefer cigars...Hoffa does turkey legs after a big victory.
Tell us about your new PR effort (73-7). Did you know it was
a bomb when you hit it? The new PR has to be one of those days in the
office where it all came together on one throw.
RH: When I went to
London I was in good shape. I think I was in better shape at Pre, but for
some reason the ball just flew at London. The week before London I was
struggling with my technique, so Don and I sat down and talked about what
I did in the past when I was throwing well. Then we modified my technique
over two practices to reflect what I used to do right. When I went
into the London meet I did not know what to expect. I thought it could be
Madrid all over again, but to my surprise, it turned out great. As
the meet started I got more comfortable with the changes that we made and
I hit the ball hard. When the ball left my hand I did not know that
it was going to go as far as it did. I was thinking more 21.70m to 21.8m
range, which would have won. When 22.43m came up, I could not
believe that I pushed the ball that far. After the throw, I knew that I
put myself in position to get the gold at Worlds. All in all it was a
great throw, but I could only enjoy the throw for as long as it took for
me to get on the plane back to Georgia. I had to focus on Worlds and I had
to treat that throw as if it was just another throw. I couldn’t let it
consume me as a throw I will do all the time. I had to put the throw
into perspective because the throw that I needed to win Worlds was just 22
meters and not 22.43m.
Adam gone to Virginia, has your training routine changed at all? Did
the two of you train/throw together that much when he was in Athens?
RH: When Adam left
for Virginia not much changed here in Athens for me. I took over as
the top guy and became the face of the training group here. In some
ways with Adam here I was the number two guy and in a small way it got to
me, because everyone wants to be number one. While Adam was here we
trained a little bit together, but for the most part I trained by myself.
Usually I would see Adam when he was ready to throw far and those where
the days that I miss the most while he was here. For me it was a
reminder that if I did not stay on top of my training, I would not be able
to keep up with the best in the world. I have to hand it to Adam, he
knows how to train to throw far in a short period of time and that is one
of the things I learned from him.
I miss Adam here in
Athens, but I do think it is best for him to do his own thing in Virginia.
I now have a new training partner, Rhuben Williams, to whom I am passing
on my knowledge of throwing. *L&S*