Big Time Meets and Peak Performance

What Happens
It's not some academic, zero sum exercise with the most likely to win obviously ending up that way. Such competitions have a tendency to alter one's ability to achieve what is otherwise routine performance. Things such as weather conditions, who hits what first, who is struggling head-to-head against whom, who is having an off day physically or technically and leaving themselves vulnerable, bad officiating, the role of the crowd, etc. all come into play. Every major title meet is different, and it is the subtleties of what was happening on that field that day, and who did what with the conditions at hand, that tells the story- not what the record book says. [Bill Green, 1984 USA Olympian]

How to Perform your Best—5 Keys to Success

1. Competence builds Confidence
You have earned the right to be there--the endless drills, exercises, weight room, throws, practices, and competitions. You know how to throw far. Be yourself.

2. Compete with and not against your Competitors
This philosophy from USA Olympian and WR holder in the discus, John Powell, is a key to success. Don’t spend your energy worrying about what your competition is doing. Concentrate on your efforts and “your throw”.

3. Big Focus on a Narrow Goal
While focused on a big performance and a great day, you must be aware that all of the distractions mentioned above under “what happens” may occur. Maintain a big panorama, note various stimuli when they occur, but go back to your focus. Don’t be so narrow in your focus that you become sidetracked; rather be laser precise in your focus despite the distractions.

4. Throw within Yourself
The bigger the meet, the more adrenaline you will have. To use it positively, you continue doing the things that got you there. Warm-up throws are limited—take a couple at no more than 80% effort; at least one throw all out. In the comp throw, don’t try to throw farther or force it…let it happen. Other competitors will succumb to distractions or pressure; you just need to throw what got you there.

5. Visualize the Throw and Feel the Rhythm
Spend time away from the other throwers-especially when you are “on hold”-visualizing your throw and feeling the rhythm. When you are “on deck” to throw next, close your eyes, take deep breaths in & out through the nose, visualize your throw & feel the rhythm. Then, step into the ring and throw it. No thinking, no cues…take a deep breath/exhale in your start position, relax and throw it.