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Mac Wilkins: Tips for state meet week

(Note: Mac Wilkins competed in the throws for 23 years, he made four Olympic teams and broke the world record in the discus four times. He also won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal).

State Meet Week.

The hardest thing is not working too much. What will you do with all that extra energy? Go home and study! Save it for the competition since it will be the toughest of the year. Don’t hang out at the track just because you are used to being there for two hours.

Don’t take a hundred throws every day because it doesn’t feel right or it isn’t close to your PR or something is wrong with your technique. Limit yourself to a certain number of throws, usually less than last week, and stop when you reach that number whether you are throwing great or not. Hey, its kind of like that in the competition. You only get a finite number (six) of throws. Make each one count!

Warming up for the big event. Adrenaline will be high so go easy. Focus on the technique and the feelings, not the distance. All young throwers throw BIG PRs in warm ups and then drop well below their best once they start measuring the throws. Save the energy for when it counts. Back way down on the warm up throws effort. Limit yourself to no more than two to four full throws before the competition.

Make your first throw a 70 percent effort. Bill Bowerman, the famous discus coach at Oregon, always used to say this. Ha! NOT! He was a distance coach not a discus coach, but he really did say that. Many times the adrenaline takes you out of the zone where you can comfortably perform. Backing off the effort on the first throw can often put you right back in the zone of optimal performance. This leads to many PRs or best of meet throws on the first try.

Have fun. Take time to enjoy what you are doing and your friends that you are competing with. NOT against. With. You share the same challenge of self-mastery.