Sunday, February 28, 2010

A couple of things that bug me......

#1- The Weight throw
I hate how heavy this thing is. Why is this an event again? What stinks more is that if I go to nationals I have to compete against studs like Henning who throw ten feet farther than me.....embarrassing.
#2-Shot Spinners
Being one of the only gliders in the NCAA is hard. I don't have the capacity of hitting big throws like spinners do. I have thrown over 18 meters 5 times this year. Right now I am not qualified by ranking to go to the indoor NCAA meet, and if I don't decide to go to a last chance meet, my indoor shot putting is done. I guess I find it frustrating when there are kids qualified to go to nationals who have only thrown over 18 meters once or twice this year.....so be it. I guess I'll try some spin out for the outdoor season.
#3-Comments about my eligibility
Almost every meet this year I have had someone comment at or talk to me about having served a mission and still having this year and next year left of eligibility. I know some guys are just joking with there comments but there have been some made that have down right offended me. After my freshmen year in 2005, I left for two years to served a church mission in the country of Taiwan. I want everyone to know a little bit about what my mission did for me physically. I did not do one rep of cleans, snatches, squats, bench press or any other lift like that for 2 years. I brought a discus with me while I was there but only got the chance to throw it twice in 2 years. I never threw the shot, weight, or hammer while I was there. I lost over 30 lbs. during those two years and dropped to as low as 215 at one point in my mission. My mission president was big into running and actually had us missionaries run long distance every other morning. I was able to get my mile time to 6 min. which was pretty good for me. During my mission I had lots of back problems and saw many doctors for it. I found out that I had the same genetic back disease as my older brother Nik called Sheurmans disease. My back caused me lots of problems while i was gone and I suffered from sleep deprivation for 2 years. I also caught a worm from eating the food there that is still causing havoc in my intestines. When I came back home after two years I was totally out of shape and looked more like a high jumper than a thrower. Since my mission I have suffered a lot of injuries that I believe stem from my efforts to get back into shape. I have had multiple sprain ankles, a stress fracture, chronic tendinitis in both knees that never go away, my usual back problems, and I have had a pulled groin and a sports hernia that required an operation. So if my two years serving a mission was so beneficial to my throwing, then why doesn't the rest of the NCAA throwers go on one? Yes, I would have graduated last year if I hadn't gone on a mission but I can tell you that I would have and would be throwing farther now if I would have stayed home. My mission did nothing to help my throwing but I can testify that it helped me as a person. All I am doing now is just trying to do my best. So if you guys still think I cheated in some way....that's your own darn fault.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Navajos Warriors Raid Las Vegas!!

It is interesting to watch international sporting events like weightlifting and track and observe the different ways that athletes prepare themselves mentally for competition. Some are very vocal and animated. That is their nature and works for them. Some are very quiet, intense and focused. Others are relaxed and even zen-like in their approach.

The Summer of 1995 we took our football team to Las Vegas, Nevada for a full contact camp at UNLV. We planned, worked, and saved and arrived with a group of 22 young men. All of whom were members of the Navajo tribe. When we arrived and checked in, it was apparent that we were different than all the other teams that were there. As we walked into the dorm area to find our rooms, everything got quiet and you could hear the whispers, ”Look! Indians!” The first time we came into the cafeteria we got the same reaction. It was like EF Hutten was talking.(I dated myself with that one)
We reported for the first practice session and went through our usual team warm-up. Next it was off to individual position drills with UNLV staff and then the session ended with a team challenge. All the teams lined up behind the 10 yard line while the UNLV staff would select teams to take the field on either defense or offense. The selected teams would have four downs to get 10 yards. If the offense got into the endzone they won. If not, the defense won. The winners stayed in until they lost. I don’t remember exactly how many teams were there, but there were more than 20 from Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona. So at the end of the practice we were standing as a team in the midst of a bunch of wild, screaming teams from around the western states. Navajo style is not to be loud or vocal, but never mistake that for less than intense. We just stood there with our arms folded waiting for a chance. The UNLV coaches called out a lot of the teams for the challenge, then closed practice without us having a chance. At the next session we were ignored again, but as it was about to close we sent our QB over to the UNLV staff to tell them that we wanted a chance. The coach in charge pushed him away and said, “You aren’t ready to play football! You don’t have any spirit!” Then he walked over to our group and said, “You guys had better get a clue! Unless you show some spirit here you’ll never get a chance!” I stepped into his face and said, “Hey, is this a football camp or a cheerleading camp? Give us a chance!” He smirked at me and sarcastically said, “Allright, I’ll give you chance! Get in there on offense and show us what you can do!” By then everyone on the field saw and heard what was going on. We went out and lined up against a team with big guys and gold helmets. We had no idea where they might be from or who they were.
On our first play we fumbled the snap from center. We at least recovered it to the laughter of everyone who was waiting for us to make fools of ourselves. Next snap we ran a dive and gained 3 yards. Third down we option off of the dive and are in the end zone. Dead silence thundered all around. Lol No one was expecting that. They called out a few more teams and we scored on each of them. The session ended and we headed back to the dorm. Coach Mark Weber, the UNLV O-line coach(who is now at BYU) caught up with us and said, “Hey, that was the damndest thing I’ve ever seen! Do you know that no one has scored on those guys in 2 years!” The next session we stood silently while the other teams all demonstrated their “spirit” by yelling and screaming. They called out teams here and there and this time they did not ignore us. The rest of the week we scored on every team that was matched with us. At the end of the week there was a tournament format and we came out on top of the heap. By then a lot of the other teams and coaches were asking us what our “secret” was. Like there was some mystical “Indian Power” that we were using. Some asked what conference we played in. We told them NFL, Navajo Football League! Even the UNLV coach who challenged us that first day with the “You have no spirit” tirade asked if he could address our team before we left. To his credit, he apologized for his first impression of us and said, “You really taught me something, spirit does not have to mean a lot of yelling and screaming. You guys really are football players.” This was a special group of athletes and we enjoyed a lot of success together. Many have gone on to productive lives. There is a civil engineer, an Air Force fitness instructor, an Army officer, several construction workers and our current high school athletic director to name a few.

What does this have to do with throwing? Some coaches think that all athletes will show their "readiness" in the same way. They think an athlete has to be "fired up" in order to compete well. Some athletes think they can only get ready by being loud.
Bottom line: mental preparedness is very individual and you can’t always tell if an athlete is ready or not unless you know them very well. Competitive spirit can look very different from individual to individual. As the saying goes, "You can't always judge a book by it's cover."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Like Father, Like Son and Daughter

It’s amazing. Some things can only be explained by genetics I guess. It was about 1979 or 80 when I went into the BYU weightroom for a workout. I was no longer a varsity athlete, but was a member of the Powerlifting Club. Our faculty advisor, the legendary LJ Silvestor had told us that we had permission to lift in the athletic weight room in the afternoon. I was married, had a child, and was taking about 20 credit hours and working 3 different jobs to stay afloat. I only had an hour and really needed to work off some stress. As I entered the old BYU weight room I noticed that the only others there were the strength coach at the time(who will go unnamed, although his initials contained a C and an S) and an offensive lineman named Andy Reid (now coaches the Philadelphia Eagles). He was squatting and the unnamed “Strength Coach” was spotting him. I also intended to squat and chose one of the 8 or so racks across the room. As I began my warmup, the unnamed “coach” walked over and said, “This time is reserved for football, I am going to have to ask you to leave.” I said, “I’m only going to be here for a few sets, besides, LJ said we could workout during this time.” The coach replied sarcastically, “LJ isn’t here is he? I’m in charge here and if you don’t leave right now, I will call campus security and have you thrown out!” Not being in a mood to suffer fools, I said a few things about my opinion of him and his program then finished my squats and left. Over the years I have reminisced with quite a few others who were members of the “Thrown out of the BYU weight room by coach CS Club.”
Fast forward to 2010. The BYU track teams return from meets in Colorado Springs and Seattle. They get home Sunday, the next day is Presidents’ Day Holiday. The women’s team track coaches tell the team there is no practice Monday. They are appreciative as it has been a lot of traveling over the past several weeks. They’re tired and have school work to catch up on too. Maybe somehow this does not get communicated to the “strength and conditioning staff.” The team competes Thursday night in a twilight meet at nearby Weber State. The girls show up Friday to do their lifting workout. Their “S&C Coach” tells them since they missed Monday’s workout, they cannot workout on Friday. My daughter, Deezbaa, doesn’t workout because she has to..... She loves to workout. She is going to go to the student weight room and get something done, but there are no platforms or bumpers there. She runs into her big brother, Oliver, who invites her to follow him in to the men’s workout in the other athletes weight room. They go in and the weight room is almost empty. They begin their workout and the “S&C Coach” comes over and says, “Sorry Deez, you’ll have to leave. You can’t workout in here.” Big brother Oliver says, “Isn’t the weight room here for the athletes? Just finish your snatches Deez.” She finishes her snatches and leaves for the student weightroom. Oliver finishes his workout, gathers his stuff and as he is leaving, the “S&C Coach” says, “Oliver, you are no longer welcome here. You are banned from the weight room.” Luckily in the Athletic Directors office there are some people with common sense. He is permitted to workout during the final week before the conference meet. Amazing, two generations kicked out of the BYU weight room for trying to get in a workout. - Ollie Whaley, M.A., C.S.C.S.

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 Wildcat Open

Yesterday we had a meet at weber state university. We thought we were going to throw in a gym but we ended up throwing in a multi-purpose room of a daycare facility next to the local highschool...(ghetto...I know...) The meet kind of dragged on and took a long time to finish. Most of the shot putters had been at the meet for more then 5 hours before we threw. We ended up finishing around 8:30pm. Niklas had his season debut in shot and won throwing 18.12. I got second throwing 18.00. Niklas did well considering it's his first shot put meet in 3 years and he just recently has had problems with a severe ankle sprain and hyper extended toe. I felt really tired leading up to the competition and kind of felt "dead" by the time our throwing started. It was really hard to get pumped up and my technique felt off. This is probably the worst 18m throw I have done technically. If I would have had better positions during the throw I think this could have gone 19m. In the video I yelled really loud because I thought it was going to go farther. Oliver had a fun time at the meet. Oliver had some great warm up throws and looked really in sync. The problem was that the ceiling was really low and on Oliver's second throw he hit the ceiling and broke a roof tile. That throw was the best throw I had ever seen from Oliver and if it wouldn't have hit the ceiling it probably would have been a 4 foot pr. Oliver's best throw was close to 64' and it traveled 6 feet off the ground the whole time.. Overall I think we are rounding up into the shape we need to be for next week's MWC championship.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Balance is vital in throwing. Mac Wilkens makes that point well in his classic discus instructional tape. Speed and power are worthless without being on balance. That is not the balance I am writing about today. I am talking about balance from the mega-macro view; keeping a balance in your life. In athletics it is very easy get out of balance. Success requires commitment to training and preparation.To compete at a high level requires alot of time. That is the choice that each athlete has to make. Our willingness to choose to invest our time and energy towards our physical goals sets us apart from much of the common herd of humanity. However if we are not careful, it can dominate our lives so completely that we miss out on many other rewarding experiences.At BYU this past year, the basketball coach, Dave Rose, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Luckily it turned out to be a rare form that is curable and not the more common type that is a death sentence; the type that took Patrick Swayze last year. This has given Coach Rose a new perspective on life. In a recent USA Today article Rose, 52, says he is a changed man because of a promise he made — to God, his wife, his children and himself.
"I promised that if I got healthy to where I could (coach), that I'd be able to manage it," "I couldn't go back into a situation where I wasn't going to respect the fact that I'd been ill."
He returned with a different mind-set. In a profession in which days off are scarce and round-the-clock work days are the norm, Rose emphasizes quality time, not quantity.

When he was cleared to go back to coaching, his wife, Cheryl, said, "I was concerned before (the cancer), I felt like he was trying to sprint a marathon. And I kept telling him, 'You can't keep this pace up.' … He had no other interests or hobbies. My children were worried."
She, too, had become so consumed with wins and losses that she had started to dread the sport, which she had enjoyed long before she married Rose nearly 30 years ago. She used to scream at referees, she says.
"I didn't want people to talk to me. I wanted to watch every play.
"We'd win a game, and everyone was excited and I would just be relieved. It wasn't joy."
The joy is back for Rose, his wife and children: daughters Chanell, 28, and Taylor, 15, and son Garrett, 25.
His job has been hectic as usual since he returned full time Aug. 1, but Rose takes more time for family, including four grandchildren. He and Cheryl have hiked trails along Provo's surrounding mountains, something they never had done.

"I still believe I give the players the very best I can to prepare them to win," he says. "You realize these are hard jobs and they're really important, but they can become all-consuming. They need to be prioritized."
And he's mindful of the promises he made during his illness.
"He's lived up to them," Cheryl says. "He absolutely has."
What can a thrower learn from a basketball coach?
Work hard. Train hard. Compete with intensity when the time comes; but remember to enjoy the journey and never forget that life is so much more than lifting and throwing heavy objects.(as fun as that is) Sometimes a few moments of reflection on another's experience can help us to "live like we were dying" and appreciate the value of balance in our lives.
You can read the entire article at:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/mwest/2010-02-17-byu-rose-cover_N.htm

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Husky Invite- Seattle

This last weekend we were in Seattle. Oliver hit another pr in the weight and looks like he's going to pop a big one anytime soon. The highlight of my trip was seeing Bruce Lee's grave and having a bowl of clam chowder from Ivar's. This Thursday we will be throwing at a meet here in Utah.

oliver's pre-meet workout :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Tools

A week or so ago we talked about tools. The opening statement was, "If the only tool in your box is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." In any well stocked tool box there is a variety of tools. Some are basic and simple, others more complex. Generally, the more complex, the more expensive and harder to obtain.I tell my students that the exercises we use in our routines are like tools. We can use them to sculpt our bodies or to improve performance and/or appearance. Some exercises are very simplistic and easy to learn; such as machine movements. I tell them I could teach a monkey to those. It doesn't take much thought. These are like cheap tools. Easy to aquire. They have their purposes, but are very limited. Other expercises are more complex such as squats, presses, and pulls like power cleans and power snatches. They are more expensive in terms of the time invested to learn and master sound technique. But they are much more valuable in terms of results. I tell them that the most expensive tools they could obtain for their box are the full squat clean and jerk exercises and the full snatch lift.These definitely require an investment of time to learn. But once mastered they are a tool that will allow you to maximize strength, power, and flexibility. I am amazed that many throwers, even some very elite level ahtletes, have poor technique when it comes to doing some of these complex lifts. (Of course there are also many with great lifting technique) Usually the reasoning is that "I'm a thrower, not a lifter. I don't have time to work on lifting technique." Time is the essence of life. We can either spend or invest our time and we never really know how much time we have. It seems to me that developing great exercise technique and taking time to master the most complex lifts is a wise investment of time.Great technique allows an athlete to lift heavier and safer. A good craftsman takes time to care for and to maintain his tools. A serious athlete will invest the time needed to develop and maintain his exercise tools.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Balance Invite - New York

We competed this last weekend at the armory in New York City. The armory is a cool facility and there was a lot of schools there with a lot of great competition. It's fun being in such a big city and especially being able to meet and compete against a lot of athletes we never get to see during the rest of the season. I tied my pr in shot put and felt good considering the circumstances. This meet is always a little hard to throw far at because of all the walking we have to do to get around. There are a lot of good things coming for us and in the next couple of weeks I see no reason why we shoudln't all pr. This coming weekend we will be traveling to Seattle to compete.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Just Business!!

It was about 1971. A couple buddies and I decided to skip a day of school as we had to drive down to Pittsburgh for an educational opportunity we couldn't miss. Arnold was coming to the YMCA and he was going to tell us all of his secrets and answer all of our questions about getting big and strong. We had been lifting in our garage for several years and faithfully reading the popular lifting magazines of the day. Because of our close proximity to Muscletown USA as York, PA was then known around the world, we were partial to Bob Hoffman and Strength and Health. But that didn't stop us from looking at the Weider magazines like Muscle/Builder Power now and then too. While were mostly interested in getting stronger for football and track, we also competed in local Weightlifting and Powerlifting meets and dreamed about looking like Arnold or Dave Draper. The idea that strength, power, or hypertrophy might require differences in training had never occured to us at that time. We wanted it all. Besides, at that time it was not uncommon for someone to compete in all three iron disciplines. Anyway, a chance to meet Arnold and learn some of his secrets was too much for us to resist. While Arnold was already becoming legendary to the small population of iron athletes, he was still relatively unknown outside of that fraternity. He was not yet a movie star and had "only" won Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia a few times. His english was still rough and his accent heavier than now but he looked amazing. As he spoke to the couple dozen of us that afternoon in the Y weightroom, we were a little surprised that he was doing basically the same exercises as we were. Squats, presses of various kinds, rowing and even pulls. He told us he started as a competitive lifter when he was a teenager. We were waiting for the secret methods, but in the end we decided that the secret was not in his exercises. Maybe it was what he was eating. Again we were somewhat dissapointed to find out he ate cornflakes for breakfast and pretty much the same stuff as we ate. Finally during the question and answer time at the finish we asked him how many cans of Super Pro 101 he drank each day.
We saw the pictures of him and Dave Draper draining cans of the stuff with bikini babes hanging all over them. It was in the magazines every month. We saved our lunch money and bought the stuff as often as we could.It was about $1.25 a can. Pretty expensive for that time. It didn't taste very good either but we faithfully downed the stuff, worried that we weren't getting enough. Well, Arnold reared his head back and let out a huge laugh, ...."I don't drink that s*#%t!!!." "It's business, Joe Weider, he pays me and takes my picture, I don't drink that s#*&t!!!!" Talk about losing our innocence! Arnold doesn't drink Super Pro 101? Is the Pope really Catholic? Our faith was sorely tested that day but we learned a valuable lesson at a relatively young age. You can't believe everything you read in the magazines. Imagine that! As time passed we discovered that the secret that we didn't know about then was spelled with a big D. That was a long time ago, but things really haven't changed. Arnold is still in business. There are still no secrets, the basic exercises still work the best, and you can't believe everything you read, even if it's on the internet.
Unless, of course, you read it on Haske Warrior Strength!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Washington Invitation

Me and oliver competed this last weekend in seattle at the U of Washington Invitational. I like going to Seattle to compete because I love the city and I love the facilities that Univ. of Washington has. Oliver pr'd for the second week in a row throwing a foot farther than last week. I threw a season best in the weight and didn't throw that well in the shot. Michael Mai was there throwing the weight and it was very fun competing against an athlete as good as he is. We will be traveling to New York this weekend to compete at the New Balance Invite. There should be great competition there. Practice has been going well and farther throws should be coming.