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
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
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*