All posts by Roger Einbecker

USA Weightlifting Combine 2/3/2018 at West Aurora HS



12-25 year olds, join us at West Aurora High School (1201 West New York Street, Aurora, IL 60506) February 3rd, 2018 when USA Weightlifting and Rogue Fitness put on a weightlifting specific combine. Above are the times and minors must be accompanied by an adult. The purpose – to identify young lifters in the United States and to create awareness of Olympic weightlifting as a sport in high schools and colleges. If you have questions, please call Suzy Sanchez (contact information is within the above flyer) or call/text Tom Kraus @ 630-772-0194.

Grand Valley State Track & Field Camps

Grand Valley State Throws & Weight training Clinic & Indoor National Discus Competition. December 16th & 17th

Grand Valley State Track & Field Camps

Elite Weight Training Seminar

Olympic Weight Lifting, Triphasic Training and Special Strength applications from USA Weight Lifting Coach Dane Miller, World Class Hammer Thrower Sean Donnelly and Olympic Shot Putter Justin Rodhe.

December 16th
Who: High School, College, Post Collegiate Athletes & Coaches
Check-In: 2:45 PM
Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cost: $150
Location: Odie Weight Room/Football Stadium
Limited Spots Available: First Come, First Serve.
Coaches Welcome to Register as well.

Registration inculdes 1 shirt per person and 1 meal per day.

Throwing Specials:
Sunday AM+PM+Discus = $125
Lifting Seminar+PM = $175
Lifting Seminar+AM = $225
Lifting+AM+PM+Competitions = $250

Running Specials:
BIG Hurdles+BIG Sprints+Discus = $125
Lifting Seminar+BIG Sprints = $175
Lifting Seminar+BIG Hurdles = $225
Lifting+BIG Hurdles+Big Sprints+Competitions = $250

Group Rates (3+) Available, Contact Coach Denard at

Grand Valley State Track & Field Camps

BIG Throws AM Clinic

The Third Annual GVSU BIG Throws Clinic will feature the same great lineup which brought in over 130 attendees a year ago; the camp will also feature an elite and open discus competition. Last year this Competition feature 2 Olympians, the NCAA Record Holder and the NACAC Champion among many other Olympic Trials/USA Competitors, NCAA All-Americans and High School State Champions from across the Midwest.

Throws will be coached By GVSU Throws Coach Sean Denard, Olympic Shot Putter Justin Rodhe, USA 3rdPlace Finisher in the Hammer and Weight Throw Sean Donnelly and Garage Strength/USA Junior Weight Lifting Coach Dane Miller, among others.

AM Clinic includes 2 one hour throwing sessions and 2 one hour classroom sessions. Events in all throwing sessions are athletes choice

December 17th
Check-In: 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cost: $100
Location: Kelly Family Sports Center
Limited Spots Available: First Come, First Serve.
Coaches welcome to register as well.
**Includes Camp T-Shirt and One Meal**

Sunday AM+PM+Discus = $125
Lifting Seminar+PM = $175
Lifting Seminar+AM = $225
Lifting+AM+PM+Competitions = $250

Group Rates (3+) Available, Contact Coach Denard at






The A-Z Throws Clinic, formerly held at Harper College, will take place at Wheaton North High School on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

The clinic will feature expert instruction in the glide shot, the rotational shot, and the discus.

All high school throwers, male and female, are welcome as are coaches who would like to observe the clinic.


Here is the clinic schedule:

9:30-10:00 Check-in

10:00-11:00 Shot Put (athletes may choose glide or rotational)

11:10-12:10 Discus

12:20-1:20 Athlete’s choice. Throwers can choose to spend this time receiving additional instruction in the glide shot, rotational shot, or discus.

The cost of the clinic for athletes and coaches is $50.00 for those who pay in advance, $60.00 for those who pay at the door.


Note: The price of the clinic includes a very stylish t-shirt, but in order to be guaranteed a shirt, payment must be received by January 15.


Questions? Contact Dan McQuaid at


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


A few years ago, I had a quick, tough, undersized (5’9″, 160 lbs) thrower named Branden Miller. I was  very proud of Branden when he threw 47′  with the 12 lb shot and 157′ with the 1.6k discus his senior year of high school. After all, he  was undersized.

He then moved on to Carthage College and in four years of throwing for Jeff Rebholz he reached 54’7″ with the 16 lb shot, 163′ with the 2k disc, 189′ with the hammer, and 168′ with the javelin. Apparently Jeff did not notice that Branden was too small to throw those distances.

Jeff moved on to Towson University last fall, and he is currently working on converting one of his glide shot putters to the rotational style.

On August 3rd, at 6:00pm central time, he will share his strategy for helping that athlete develop solid rotational technique.

This webinar is free. Jeff will field questions throughout.

I invite you to set aside the time to attend. Jeff is a great young coach, and anyone who trains rotational putters at any level will benefit from interacting with him.

Please register here:




Anyone watching the NCAA championships last weekend could not be blamed for thinking that glide shot putting in this country has gone the way of the western roll high jump technique.

Never heard of the western roll? My point exactly.

It is extinct, like the dodo bird.

But glide shot technique is not going anywhere.  It is still be a very effective technique for high school putters, and for certain kids it is absolutely the best technique.

If you are interested in coaching the glide effectively, I invite you to sign up for a free webinar that I will be holding on Sunday, June 25th at 4:00 central time. You can register for the webinar here:

In that webinar, I will go over the fundamentals of effective gliding and explain a drill sequence that I have developed during my 25 years of coaching the throws at Wheaton North High School.

This will be a live presentation lasting approximately one hour, and attendees will be able to submit questions throughout.

If you have any questions about how this whole thing will work, please contact me at


Throwers News by Jim Aikens

Throws coaches below are some upcoming clinics:


1.    Illinois Track & Cross Country Coaches Association clinic (ITCCCA) on January 13th in the PM &  January 14th.Mike Turk from University of Illinois & Gia Smallwood (US American record holder in the discus) are featured speakers Friday night along with Matt Martin from Edwardsville. On Saturday Mac Wilkins is doing sessions on discus, shot and training. Matt is also speaking again on Saturday.  Its going to be a great clinic with a lot of good info. For more information go to:

2.    Throws Coaches & Athletes, many of you have been asking me about this years A-Z Clinic. The A-Z Throwers Learn-By-Doing clinic has been going strong for well over a decade now.  Sunday January 22nd from 9 – 3 pm is when this year’s edition will take place at Harper College in Palatine, IL.  We look forward to seeing you and your throwers there.  As always we have a very low athlete to coach ratio (usually 4 athletes to 1 coach).  Some of the best throws coaches in Illinois are coming to help work the clinic this year.  Also, this year we have online registration which should make signing up for the clinic much easier.  See the attached flyer for complete information (athletes must fill out the waiver and bring it with them). Please spread the word.


3.    Dupage Track Club is having a throws clinic on Thursday 12/29 (shot put) and on Friday 12/30 (Discus/weights).  As all of you know the throws coaches there do a great job. This clinic is for coaches or athletes.  For more information go to:

4.    This weekend is the “Gold Medal Throwers Camp” sponsored by the National Throws Coaches Association. This camp is held in Portage, Indiana at Portage high school’s excellent indoor facility. There are some great coaches working this clinic as well. This clinic is for athletes and coaches. For more information go to:

First edition of throws news you can use!  by Jim Aikens

1.      Throws Coach is needed for the girl’s program at Barrington H.S. Contact Jody Gitelis at if you are interested in this position.

2.      Throws Coach is needed for the boy’s program at Hinsdale Central H.S. Contact Noah Lawrence if you are interested.

3.      This Coming Sunday December 4th there is a Learn-By-Doing clinic at Wheaton North H.S. from 12-3 pm. See attached flyer if interested.

4.      Saturday December 17th & Sunday December 18th there is a Learn-By-Doing clinic at Portage H.S. in Portage, IN. click on this link for information on the clinic.

5.      Sunday January 22nd is the A-Z Learn –By- Doing Throws Clinic at Harper College in Palatine, IL.  I think we have been doing this clinic for 15 years now. We have had some great kids come to this event. Contact me or Renee Zellner at for more information.

6.      Finally, I save the best for last! The ITCCCA Coaches clinic is coming up quickly! It is on Friday evening, January 13th & Saturday January, 14th. We have a great throws line up.

*Friday: Mike Turk & Gia Smallwood (US Record Holder in the Discus) will be presenting on the Discus and also Training the H.S. athlete for the Throws. I have talked with Mike regarding these presentations & I think they are going have some really good stuff!

*Saturday: Mac Wilkins  Throws legend and the former Olympic & world record holder as well as an accomplished national throws coach will be speaking on the Discus, Shot & Training.

Matt Martin: Edwardsville H.S.: Matt will be speaking on what he does with his throws program at Edwardsville H.S. Last year Matt coached the boys state record holder in the discus and # 2 thrower in the country.

I lied, one more thing. Tom Pukstys, Olympic Javelin thrower has some openings for private coaching if anyone is interested. See below.

Shot-put and Discus training with Tom Pukstys, 2012 US Olympic Throws Coach

Sundays: 6pm to 8pm

Where: Palos Courts facility 12221 S. Ridgeland Ave, Palos Heights, IL 60463

Cost: $30

Open to all levels.

Please confirm attendance with Coach Tom at

Please let me know what else I can help you guys with. The goal is to make all of our kids throw far & raise the bar for the throwing events in Illinois.

Jim Aikens

Gold Medal Winter Throws Camp

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Throws Camp Website

Athletes and Coaches,
Letting you know about a great opportunity for your staff members and athletes to further their skills this winter.  The National Throws Coaches is sponsoring the Gold Medal Winter Throws Camp in Portage, IN on December 17th and December 18th.   Over 11 hours of teaching by Elite Throws Instructors on the shot and discus! Learn By Doing, Lecture, Video Instruction, and Demonstrations are included! Available to the first forty athletes that sign up, camp promises to be a tremendous assist to help build your throws program.

For more information:

Click Here:Camp Website