Gone are the days of new advances like "auto-tracking." And now, you can be kind without having to rewind! So, when it comes to video review and analysis for throwers, quite honestly, it's never been easier.YouTube, smartphones and WiFi may be the greatest advancements in throwing we've seen. We have such amazing tools at our disposal, but do we use them? Do you film your practices to review at that time or later in the day?
For the throwers who went before us, how did they do this? Did they even do this? One of my favorite examples of work ethic and just sheer grit to throw far was a story I heard about Ryan Vierra (five-time world champion) and him wearing out VCRs. Yep. Wearing them out. Studying throws. In all my years of childhood movie classics and Disney films with the fam, I've never seen one get worn out. Perhaps you have, but I doubt you've seen it from throws film study.
So, I asked Ryan about that this week, as I wanted to get the story straight. Does the myth match the truth?
Yep. It does.
Ryan blames his obsessive throwing schedule and him being, "too cheap to buy cable T.V." So that we understand this better, let's realize that Ryan Vierra saw such an importance on technical reviews, that he wore out multiple VCRs. Ryan told me he that while he doesn't remember how many, it was "a lot." Like I've stressed before in other articles, I feel it's important for throwers to review and look to previous generation throwers to see the qualities they possessed. Vierra would film his three hour morning sessions (nope, that's not a typo) and then watch and compare his footage to that of Bill Anderson, Hamish Davidson and Grant Anderson. He would break down the throws, frame by frame to see the differences and how he could best tweak his technique for big throws. This could take him hours and, in most cases, this would happen every single day.
Not wanting to let these new found revelations go by the wayside, Ryan would throw later in the day, applying what he learned from his video review. I think there's much we can learn from Ryan and his work, especially if you're in one of the following categories:
- You're a pro who wants to qualify for Celtic or move up the ranks
- You're an amateur who is moving from "C" class to "B" class, "B" to "A," etc.
- You're an amateur who wants to make the jump to the pro ranks
- You're a master thrower trying to qualify for Worlds
- You're just starting in the sport and want to maximize your time and efforts
So ... yeah ... that's really all of us, isn't it?
If you're looking for a jump in your numbers this season, perhaps it's time to commit to some video review. Pour over your videos and then compare them to the greats who have gone before; there are so many videos online of guys like Vierra, Betz, Brock, Barron, Brown, Sandford, McDonald, Brebner, and so many more of the "recent" greats. Vierra saw merit in viewing the throws of those who threw before him - perhaps we should take note of that?
Getting "tips" from friends and other throwers is great, but it's hard to beat your own video analysis; you'll never understand the events as much as when you have to coach yourself.