To sum it up, this was one of the most disappointing experiences I have had so far competing in a Highland Games. Not only did I not achieve a single goal I set for myself, I can't say anything too positive came out of the experience. I'll give you the run-down by events.
STONE: They had us throw one of the worst stone in the history of man, Herman's Head. This is really a Breamar Stone, but they use it as their Open Stone at the NEFL Games. It is a 22lb pain in the ass with a funky shape and no sweet spot. I had no "pop" on the throw and I felt as if I could not get any rotational force going on the throw. I only threw it 28'
56 lb Weight For Distance(WFD): My first throw looked like absolute garbage. The cast was too low, the first spin took up 3/4 of the box and I was falling backwards with the throw. It went 21' something. Second throw went a little bit better, but I had no pull on the throw. Third throw was the best, I got my first spin around quick enough and I got a small amount of pull out of it. It went 26' 9" which is a PR, but still 3" short of my goal.
28 lb WFD: I'd rather not talk about this one, but I'll go ahead and do it anyway. All three throws sucked. My feet were too slow, the mechanics felt poor and I threw almost 10' shorter than I threw in practice. I didn't even break 50' which in my eyes is pathetic and inexcusable.
HAMMER: This one was all poor practice methods. This was the first Games using spikes. I practiced the spins with spikes, but never the release. I fouled my first two throws, which felt really powerful, because I lost control and hit the ground on the first two throws. I ditched the spikes and went on for my third attempt. I got good speed, but on the fourth rotation I hit the ground and lost all power and the Hammer only went mid-50s.
CABER: This one went fairly well. I consider myself an average Caber thrower, but I seem to do really well. I placed fourth overall with a 2:00, 1:00 and a 12:00. At least I corrected some of my form errors.
56 lb Weight Over Bar: This one I tied my previous PR, but I was so defeated mentally and worn out physically, I could only touch the bar at 13'.
Sheaf: I suck at it and that is all there is to it. Tied my previous PR. I REALLY need coaching and form work on this one.
REVIEW: I am too slow. Too much Powerlifting and not enough Olympic and Speed training makes Matt a slow boy. So, this weekend I went back and totally revamped my training protocols. I plan to cut out a lot of my Max Effort work and work on a percentage based system. I am going to include speed ladder work and footwork drills. I am also going to change all my main lifts to include more speed/throws-based lifting. They will include Dynamic Incline and Overhead Pressing, Hang Power Snatch, Hang Power Cleans, and Front Squats. Two days a week will include throwing drills and the other two speed and footwork drills. One day on the weekend I am going to try to get a day of real throwing in. I am going to video record each session and only concentrate on two throws at a time.
As you saw I went 0 for 7 on my goals for this Games. I have VERY high expectations of myself because I know that I am better than this. I just need a way to transfer my "out of competition strength" to my "in-competition strength".
I tested Training Maxes for Front Squat and Close-Grip Power Snatch yesterday and man, am I ever slow.
Front Squat: 335. I feel like I had more in the tank, but I ran out of time and had already performed too many sets to work up to 335
Close-Grip Power Snatch: 185. WTF?! This is how slow I've become. This is a pathetic number for me, but a max is a max and I'm going to be smart and stick with the percentages for each given lift.
I am also debating on whether or not to drop weight, but that is another post for another time. My feet have been bothering me way too much for weight to not be a factor. I just need to decide how much I want to lose and how it will affect my throwing. Oh well, I guess that is how the iron game goes...