It won’t be long until the track season starts and I wanted to let you guys know about the Throws presenters at the ITCCCA Clinic on January 5th & 6thPre registration ends December 29th, register before you go on holiday break!




Gia Lewis-Smallwood American Record Holder in the Discus

Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood is the current American record holder in the discus with a throw of 226 feet 11 inches.  She is also the reigning four-time U.S. Champion in the discus. This Olympian has earned berths on four Team USA World Championship teams (Daegu, South Korea 2011, Moscow, Russia 2013, Beijing, China 2015, and London, England 2017). Gia also competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Unfortunately a serious injury kept her from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.   She also competed in the 2015 Pan-Am Games where she earned a bronze medal.  We are very honored to have Gia come share her experiences and expertise with us.

Gia’s talks are titled:                       *Reflections of a Professional Discus Thrower

                                                                *Let’s have a Discus Discussion



Coach Johnson was an NCAA All American and a 1996 Olympic Trials Finalist in the discus. Coach Johnson has continued to compete and coach earning a Bronze medal in the 2011 World Masters Championship. Erik Johnson competed at UCLA and learned his trade under legendary coach Art Venegas. Coach Johnson is a Throws & Strength Coach Specialist, and owner of the #1 Throws Center in Orange County, CA and Phoenix, AZ- ARETE THROWS NATION. Coach Johnson has been coaching for over 20 years and during that time has successfully developed hundreds of throwers to achieve their goals: he has also coached over 88 athletes to winning League, Division, State, and National Championships, and currently coaches pro thrower, Jason Harrell, who just placed 4th at the 2016 Olympic Trials and Chase Ealey US women’s shot put.. Coach has developed the Throwing Chain Reaction™ (TCR) system of teaching the throws which involves what he calls the “Six Pillars of the Throw”. This system breaks the throws down to workable and teachable units which has proven to be very successful for Coach Johnson and hundreds of coaches around the world.

Erik talks are titled:          *Three keys to Unlocking Glide Shot Potential

                                                *Using the TCR™ for a 17 Foot Rotational Shot Put PR

                                                *The Art of Drill Prescription & Progressions

*How the Posture Dictates the Throw: Identifying obvious Variables that prohibit improvement and big throws!

                                               Samantha Serrano

Coach Serrano is a product of the Hoffman High School Throws machine under legendary coach Keith Peak, and later under Mary Wallace at Illinois State University where she was an All-American in the weight throw in 2000. She is a former ISU school record holder in the shot, hammer, and weight throws, and Missouri Valley Conference champion in the shotput and weight throws. This Coach Serrano’s 16th year coaching track and field at Conant High School.  Her athletes have 22 state qualifying performances resulting in 7 state medals.

Coach Serrano is a big believer in muscle memory skill drills that help build specific strength for individual events. Over time, her coaching has evolved from coaching my student-athletes from part-to whole, and now coaching whole to-part.  She teaches the kids what the major movements are first (what the finished product will look like), and then break down the movements into segmented skill drills to help build specific strength to improve on the whole.

Samantha’s talk is titled:                               Specific Strength Skills Drills for the H.S. Thrower

Jim Aikens

Coach Aikens has been coaching the throws since 1984. He has been the head coach at William Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois since 1990. During this time Jim’s throwers have won four state championships and 16 other state medals. Jim has served as the director of Junior Athletics for USA Track & Field in the state of Illinois and holds USA Track & Field Level 1 and Level 2 certification. He is a Level One USATF Lead Instructor and is a USATF Nationally Certified Official in the throws. He has also served as President for the Illinois Track and Cross-Country Coaches Association and is a member of their Hall of Fame. Jim is currently the Illinois representative for the National Throws Coaches Association. Many of his throwers have earned conference, sectional, state, and national honors. Coach Aikens teams have won eight conference championships, sectional championships, and four top 8 finishes at the Illinois state meet. Coach Aikens has published several articles about the Throws and training for the throws and is a much sought after speaking clinician. Jim is also the author of the Championship Video Throws series.

Jim’s talk is titled:                             Planning & Organizing your Throws Practices for Beginning Coaches

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