, 2004


Letter From The Editor
Random Thoughts

Stepping Forward
Rob Minnitti is looking to make his mark

Hammer City Hungary!
Ball and chain summit report

Chatting With John Godina
Longevity, UCLA, the future and more

Maintaining Physical Integrity
The second in the series

Challenge Of A Lifetime
U.S. Olympic shot hopeful finds a new battle

When It Counts
The big guns discuss the impacts of first throw fouls

Ron Simkew: 70’/70’ Man
Catching up with the 1970’s shot phenom

How’s your circle etiquette?

At The Speed Of Light
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this Florida youngster

Dr. Bob: A Memorable Character
Montana Master is loving life and track

Wel(ding) Rounded
There’s soooo much more to Ruth Welding

West Side Training For The Heavy Events
Highlands training with an explosive emphasis


By James Brown

What is a Flow Buster? Anything that disrupts a thrower’s mental concentration from the task at hand: getting the most from a big throw at a big meet. Okay, we have all been there. A big meet and we are focused and ready to go. Then something or someone disrupts our flow. Many of us may be guilty (hopefully it was unintentional, but you never know) of disrupting the flow of a friend or competitor. Before you ask why is he whining about a Flow, because as much as we hate to admit it, we do talk about these Flow Busters to others and complain about them alone in the car. So sit back grab the cheese and enjoy the whine as you visualize the implement of your choice flying into the sunset.

The following list of some of the most common Flow Busters is meant as a gentle reminder to be considerate of your fellow throwers, especially during championship or qualifying competitions. Okay, not so gentle in some cases, but many of us are just too kind to say what we are thinking during a meet.

In the real world, does a serious thrower really listen to anybody else’s suggestions during a championship competition? I vote no. Maybe if the person giving advice is really the thrower’s coach or an elite thrower, then maybe. Everyone else, you have a better chance at winning the PowerBall lottery than somebody listening to your coaching pointers. So let’s review: if the word ‘Championship’ is in the name of the meet, do not coach, offer suggestions or otherwise attempt to communicate your evaluation of another thrower’s performance or technique during the event. Why? Because it’s rude, and uncivilized.

Talking to the Thrower
Alright, put yourself in this scenario. It is a championship meet. Let’s say Nationals, and off to the side there is a thrower who has already checked in, warmed up and put his/her shoes on. Do you go over and ask about the family? If you answered, "Yes", please leave the room, go somewhere private, extend your right hand, and rapidly and forcefully apply it to your forehead. I’ll wait because somebody somewhere answered in the affirmative.

Now that you have returned, we can continue. Most serious throwers have a routine. Since throwing is mostly mental, we like (okay need) our routine. Talking to a serious thrower before they compete is a very bad thing. Huge Flow Buster. When can you safely ask about the family? How about when we are waiting for the event. Even better after all of the throwing events have been completed. But never within 20 minutes of competition.

Interrupting Private Conversations
If one or two throwers who have a glazed look in their eyes are engaged in an animated conversation before a competition, leave those who are engaged in the conversation alone. This is not the time to interrupt. Trust me, a serious thrower’s mind is now geared for power and explosion. The interruption will probably result in impatience, definitely annoyance and in rare occasions, power and explosion (kids draw your own picture here).

Standing Behind The Circle
Unless you want to be injured don’t stand behind the circle. Not only is it dangerous, you impair the focus of the thrower. Technically, anything that distracts a thrower is interference (hint to officials). Distracting individuals who are in possession of implements that were originally designed as weapons is not an intelligent life choice.

Bring Your Own Toys
Remember, when warm-up time is short because of the endless delays, it is a pain to share your implement. I must admit, I have committed this Flow Buster, and the wet noodle really hurt. I know the answer…shot putters, discus and hammer throwers, save your lunch money (Masters: by now we know how to hide a few bucks from the significant other). Buy your own/bring your own/throw your own. Lest I am accused of being inconsistent, weight throwers, I can understand not having an indoor or outdoor 35# throwing weight. If you want to borrow it, arrange the loan beforehand. Most championship meets post the entrants beforehand so you will probably know somebody there. Just be courteous and ask before you get there. (Mike H. and Jeff C.- my rock is your rock anytime)

Javelin throwers, y’all wear spikes so you have to fend for yourself.

Changing The Consistency Of The Throwing Circle
This may seem petty, but the concept is oh, so simple. If it rains, the circle is wet. If the sun is shining, the circle is dry. If the circle is rough, it is slow. If it is smooth, the circle is fast. JUST DEAL WITH IT. Everybody has to adjust to the same condition. You are creating an unfair advantage by applying a foreign substance to the circle before you throw (if it is not raining or indoors, water is a foreign substance). Hey, most of us are not going to break a record, qualify for the Olympics, etc., so why inconvenience other throwers, not to mention put us at risk at greater risk of injury by throwing water in the circle before you throw? A couple of globs of spit, although gross, is okay.

Those are the suggestions for those who are serious about throwing. The remainder are for the rest of you.

Runners And Jumpers
As throwers we generally respect your physical ability and dedication to do more than one event. But don’t expect us to wait on you. If you have a conflicting event, make a choice. Oh, here’s a novel idea. Ask the meet director to hold up the 100m so you can throw. They won’t wait? ‘Oh, darn!’ If you do leave to run or jump, you only get the throws you are back in time for, not all of them.

If the event is supposed to start at 10:00, lets start at 10:15 at the latest. If you look around the circle, a majority (95%-99%) of the throwers are there ready and waiting to do what they really showed up to do: THROW. Why are we waiting? Okay, this is like the last one, but a few meet officials may have missed the subtle hint.

Throwing Just For Fun
Hey, we all throw because we enjoy it. This is a given. However, doing it seriously and just goofing are two different things. In all-comers meets it’s understandable. But a championship meet is not the time to learn how to throw an implement. If you want to learn, most throwers will be happy to work with you after the meet. In case you still don’t get the hint, think of throwers taking up several heats to run a 100m backwards cause we want an extra workout (hey, it could happen).

I hope that I have not offended anyone, but if you are guilty of any or all of the above, don’t hide in shame. Just stand in the corner for one minute for each year you have been throwing. Stop kicking the wall! No, just remember we have to extend to others the same courtesy we expect for ourselves. Many new throwers, and some old ones, just do not know or tend to forget the "unwritten" rules.

In order to continue to grow the events we so enjoy all of us have a responsibility to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to succeed. Never forget to laugh at our mistakes and ourselves. Oh yeah. If my headphones/earplugs are in, I am finding my Flow. Please don’t bust it. *LSTJ*