Thursday, July 16, 2009

So you want to throw in college?

We have all heard about "hoop dreams" but how about "throwing dreams?" Well, today I will be talking about what it takes to get to the next level in throwing after high school so this will be short and sweet and I promise my next post will be back on track with the rest. The reason I'm talking about this today is because a friend of mine online wanted to know the answers to the following questions: if you could go back to high school, what would you do differently? What is/are the one or two most important things you would tell a high school kid who is a throwing enthusiast? I will answer these two questions after I offer some advice below.

High school was four years ago and I remember the uncertainty I felt when I was looking for the right University to attend in order to compete at the division one level. Before I got to this stage however a couple of things had to take place in order for me to be considered good enough to be recruited by any school. Here is a list of all I did:
  • I marketed myself and my skills to all the programs that appealed to me.
    • This was a joint effort between my coach and myself. Anything from calling schools to sending out tapes to them my junior year. It is important to do this because most University coaches usually only have numbers to work with so if you send them a video of you throwing, lifting or doing something athletic, the coach will be able to have an idea of how well they can develop your talent. Doing this will drastically increase your chances of getting a recruiting visit as well.
  • I responded to every questionnaire!
    • This might sound tedious but answering many college questionnaires drastically increases your chances of finding a coach that is willing to take a chance with you. Another tip is that if your personal best is not the greatest, you have a better chance of finding a coach that will respond to you by sending a questionnaire to all the schools you can.
  • I was patient.
    • This is the most important part. There is a lot of misconception that you have to know what school you will be going to by the beginning of your senior year. I waited till I hit my best marks late in my senior year season before I made a decision. This allowed me to prove to coaches that I was improving and in turn the offers for scholarship increased due to my patience. Be patient and good things will come.
Now that I have spilled the beans on tips about how to get recruited, I will now answer my friends question. (If you could go back to high school, what would you do differently?) If I could go back to high school the first thing I would have done would have been to perfect my technique and focused less on strength. I now know that technique is the most important and basic element that would have set me up for a nice transition to college. I had a tough time adjusting to the heavier 2K disc because my technique was sub par. Second, I would have worked harder at my second event, shot-put. If I had done so, I would have thrown a lot farther than I did, which would have increased the scholarship offers I would have received.
(What is/are the one or two most important things you would tell a high school kid who is a throwing enthusiast?) The most important thing is to understand that, throwing far takes time! It is a life long battle. Most discus throwers will never reach their peak until their mid to late twenties and some even peak later. Unlike most sports, throwing requires a level of technical precision that only time can fashion. Be patient and adamant, don't be in a rush to throw far. Rather, know that you will be great if you train hard and focus of improving you technique every year. Remember, discus throwing at the elite levels requires a few hairs on your chest.

1 comment:

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

If there is anything else you want to know about how to get into a college to throw, let me know!