The first instalment of the European Shot Put Conference which took place in Tallinn, Estonia from 8-10 November was widely hailed a success by organisers and participants alike, getting the 2019 Coaching Summit Series off to another excellent start.
More than 100 coaches from 29 countries - predominantly from Europe but from further afield as well - participated in a robust and engaging programme of theoretical and practical lectures in which the speakers all generously imparted some key insights to an engaged audience.
“It was our pleasure to host over 100 coaches from 29 different countries here in Tallinn. Our conference gave throwing coaches a chance to share their knowledge over the three days and - of course - unify and develop the current international coaching generation,” said conference organiser Hans Uurike.
The reach of the conference was such that coaches from five continents gathered in the Estonian capital including Australia’s Dale Stevenson, the coach of Tom Walsh who was part of that historic shot put final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Stevenson gave lectures on Walsh’s training programme from strength and technical perspectives before giving a separate lecture on the planning which goes into making sure Walsh arrives at major events in his best form. Stevenson also offered some analysis on the current surge in the event and some first-hand insights the world final in Doha where Walsh only came away with a bronze despite throwing 22.90m.
“Everybody is finding different ways to throw the shot far. It is an exciting shot put era we are living in and opening up new spaces for our event. The days are gone, where everybody looked at a textbook approach of how a thrower should look like. And that has probably opened up our event to different body types and physical attributes,” he said.
Stevenson also put forward one prediction on the near future of the men’s shot put. “It is expected that you will need to throw a world record to win in Tokyo 2020,” he said.
The conference programme was also highlighted by theoretical and practical demonstrations from Germany’s David Storl and his coach Wilko Schaa. They explored the topic of the glide technique which was put into action during a training demonstration on the second day at the Tallinn Sports Hall, followed by a presentation on planning by his coach on the final day.
“As a developing athlete you always need an innovation in the process,” said Schaa. “With David Storl, we are using some of the following concepts: quality dictates the quantity, you need to work on causes not the issues, keep the process as simple as possible.”
From the glide to the rotational technique, renowned throws coach Vesteinn Hafsteinsson also took to the Tallinn Sports Hall. He was accompanied by his pupil - the Swedish record-holder Fanny Roos - for a practical session on the specifics of the rotational technique before Hafsteinsson gave a lecture focusing on the rotational technique in the women’s shot put.
The three day programme began with an opening message from 2008 Olympic discus champion-turned-coach Gerd Kanter and the conference programme also featured a video lecture from the esteemed Jean Pierre Egger, the former coach of world champions Werner Gunthor and Valerie Adams.
The European Shot Put Conference was the first of four events to comprise the 2019 Coaching Summit Series conference which has been an integral part of European Athletics’ coaching strategy since 2008.
The next event on the itinerary is the European Horizontal Jumps and Sprint Symposium which takes place in Karlstad, Sweden from 15-17 November. Click here for more information on the 2019 Coaching Summit Series.