Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Central Florida Highland Games

I am officially an Amateur A Division competitor.  Let me tell you, it feels pretty damned good.  The morning of the competition they were predicting an overflow of B Division competitors, so they allowed me to throw with the big boys based on my past throws.  I was really excited to learn and boy did I ever learn.

Lessons Learned
1.  My form is absolute garbage.  No lie, I looked like some hulking galoot out there on some of the throws.  I don't pick up my chest in time for the stone, pull too late on the weights for distance, have horrible timing on the weight for height, and God help my sheaf.  I did okay in some events, but I was always at the back of the pack.

2.  My Caber is not as bad as I thought.  I was the third athlete to turn the caber on the day, finished fifth, but at least I got the thing to turn.  It was only 2:00, and I need more pull out of my upper body.

3.  I was stronger than most of my competitors.  At least in the weight room anyway.  Hearing some of these talk I'm smashing weights in the weight room they won't even touch.  This leads me to believe that I really need to work on my throws and not concentrate so damn much on my numbers in the gym.  Practice on the throws is going to be my main concern over the next month and a half to get ready for Jax.  The only guy that I talked to that was stronger than I was ended up being Wes Kiser.  This guy is fixing to go pro in the Highland Games and is an absolute animal in the weight room as well as on the field. 

4.  I've been relying way too much on brute force.  I LOVE getting in the gym and hitting MY Big 5: Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Power Clean, Power Snatch.  Being strong as a bull is great when all you do is actually lift the weights, but when you have specialized throws, you need technique.  I will still hit up the big lifts, but from now on it will not be my big focus.  I need to find a park or a field around town to hit up throws practice at least once a week.

5.  My upper body strength is pathetic.  I can blame it on my shoulder all I want, but if I want to succeed in the Highland Games the way I want to, I HAVE to just suck it up and JFDI, as my Dad would say.  For crying out loud I have a 500+ lb deadlift, an almost 300lb clean and I can only 3 board press 275!?  It is absolutely pathetic.  I may take a trip down to Orlando Barbell to get some help from Brian Schwab.  Brian is a graduate of the University of Florida and a world record holding powerlifter.  I talked to him Sunday and he said it would be okay to come down and train every once and a while.

Overall I had a great weekend.  Thursday morning I tweaked my left Achilles Tendon that left me with a pretty significant limp.  I sought some advice from two Athletic Trainers we have on staff at work and they both recommended Achilles taping.  Basically this tape job creates an artificial external Achilles Tendon.  I had my wife do it the morning of the competition and it kept me from getting hurt any worse than I already was.  Don't get me wrong I threw like garbage because I threw like garbage, but I just didn't have that "oomph" that I usually have on my throws.  If you want you can check out my field of competitors HERE

I hit 2 Prs.  A 1 foot PR on the sheaf which brings me to 22 whole feet.  It makes me sick to even say that.  I also hit a 5 foot PR on the Hammer.

I'd like to thank Kevin Dupuis and Jim Gibson for pointing out some errors in my throwing.  Jim won Athlete of the Day and Kevin smoked just about everyone on every event.  The only setback is that Kevin fouled out of the 56 WFD. 

Now its is back to the drawing board.  Remember that programming I was talking about earlier?  Yeah, that is in the trash now and I have to reconfigure things.  Oh well, that is the way the game is played.  Time to go back to the drawing board...

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