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"How to Become an Olympic Champion" is a video series by coach Vésteinn Hafsteinsson on example of Discus Throw legend Gerd Kanter. The first video series puts focus on Olympic Lifting for Throwers. Click here for more info.

 

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The Swedish Cup

Kuortane began a period during which Daniel and Simon would have four meets in eight days. Kuortane was June 26th, and then on the 29th they had the Swedish Cup, which they wanted to compete in to represent their clubs. Keeping the rhythm of the training schedule is not easy with all these competitions close together, so at first I suggested that they skip this one. But, Simon reminded me that it was important for them to do something to support their clubs, so I came up with the idea of treating the meet as a training session instead.

I gave them each one technical point to focus on and told them that I wanted to see six legal throws at submaximal effort. In Daniel’s case, I wanted all six throws to be over sixty-five meters. For Simon, sixty-two meters or better. The conditions that day were very hot with sometimes no wind and sometimes a little tailwind. I was very happy with the results. Each threw one out of the sector and otherwise had five legal throws. Simon’s best was 65.23m and Daniel had three throws over sixty-eight meters with a best of 68.65m.

Afterwards, we lifted. I heard recently from a thrower who is traveling in Europe that he has not lifted in something like fourteen days. I have heard this from other throwers over the years. They get caught up in the travel and competitions and do not think about how to maintain a rhythm in their training. The result is that after a while the body does not know what it is supposed to be doing and the athlete loses their feel for throwing.

Careful planning is necessary to prevent this. For most of my time coaching Gerd Kanter, I also acted as his agent and was in charge of making his travel arrangements for competitions. This consumed a lot of time, but it allowed me to make arrangements in a way that we were able to keep the rhythm of his training. For example, we often tried to make it possible for him to get in a lift right after a competition before traveling to the next destination. For an afternoon meet, he would lift that same day. For a later meet, he would lift the morning after before heading to the airport.

This meant making a lot of phone calls to find places for him to train, and it meant finding flights at just the right times, but over the course of Gerd’s career, this allowed him to have literally hundreds of training sessions that he’d have lost if we had not been so careful about arranging his schedule. This consistency in training allowed Gerd to win two Olympic and five World Championship medals and to throw over seventy-meters six years in a row. That is why it was important for Simon and Daniel to get in a lift the evening of the Swedish Cup meet.

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Our athletes in 2021

DISCUS THROW
 
1 Daniel Stahl 70.55m  
2 Simon Pettersson 69.48m  
3 S.M. Skagestad 62.99m  
       
SHOT PUT  
1 Marcus Thomsen 21.09m  
       
1 Fanny Roos 19.34m