Category Archives: Clinic


Dear Fellow Throws Enthusiast:

It was great seeing many of you at the ITCCCA clinic this past weekend. Catching up with old friends and making new ones is one of the things I most enjoy about the clinic. I thought former Illinois state champion and now BIG 10 Throws Coach from Nebraska Scott Cappos did a great job sharing his coaching knowledge with all of us. Also, giving some great insight into many aspects of the throws was Dane Miller from Throws University and Garage Strength. If you haven’t yet filled out an evaluation of their presentations could you please do so now at the link below. Both the presenters & ITCCCA find these evaluations very helpful.

Evaluation Links:

Check out Coach Scott Cappos’ Throwers on Instagram @Cornthrowers they post some great videos of the Nebraska throwers. Also listed below is a direct link to all the PowerPoints on the talks that Coach Cappos gave.

You also need to check out the website that Coach Dane Miller has put together. He has some great resources on the page. Included, are links you can follow Throws University & Garage Strength on Instagram and Twitter from this page. The link to his page is:

PowerPoints on the talks that Coach Miller gave.


Clinic opportunities for Athletes & Coaches:

A-Z Learn By Doing Throws Clinic is on Sunday, January 26th 2020 @ Wheaton North H.S. in Wheaton, Illinois:

If you haven’t been to the A-Z Throws clinic you don’t know what you’re missing. This clinic has been running for over 15 years. Multiple state medalist have attended this clinic over the years. The great thing about this clinic is the excellent coach to athlete ratio. On average there is one coach to every 5 athletes. The throws coaches who volunteer to work this clinic are some of the best in the state of Illinois. Your athletes and you will experience some major hands on coaching. The cost of the clinic is $65 for advance registration and $75 at the door. Register at:

National Throws Coaches Association Throw & Learn Camp, February 16th @ Burlington Central H.S. in Burlington, Illinois :

This camp will be like no other you have attended! It will be tailored more to what individual throwers and coaches need in order to help make them successful. This camp will use video to help analyze what is needed to improve your throw. The athletes at this clinic will be throwing shots and discus’. The clinic will be directed by Coach Jim Aikens (Fremd HS & Burlington Central HS.) and Coach Scott Bennett who has been coaching the field events for over 40 years. He has coached five Olympians (1 gold medalist), National Champions, Olympic Trial Winners, NCAA Champions and many more. He has coached on the Division 1 and Division 3 levels as well as the high school level. He has developed a great system for teaching & correcting throwing technique. The cost of he clinic is $70 for advance registration & $80 day of if spots are available. Link to flyer and registration directions:

University of Wisconsin 1 day Throws Camps:

There is a great opportunity for throwers in the Northern portion of Illinois. U of W Madison is offering a series of 1 day throws camps. I have heard nothing but good things about these camps. Coach Astrauskas and his staff do a great job working with the athletes. For details and registration go to:

Bureau Valley Coaches Clinic:

This is a great clinic that Dale Donner has built. Unfortunately, Dale is retiring and this is the final clinic. I am honored to be speaking on the shot put & discus at this clinic. If you are interested here is the information link:

Throws Coaches Paid Job Oppenings:

South Elgin H.S.:

The South Elgin Boys Track and Field Team is looking for an Assistant Coach with experience in Throws, with a team focus in strength and conditioning. Stipend is available based on experience. Please contact Head Coach Anthony LaRue anthonylarue@u-46.orgor (630) 253-4941 for any interest or questions.

Illinois Institute of Technology:

– Attend 2-3 practices per week to work with 3-5 throwers
– Attend all meets (7-8 indoors/outdoors)
– Handle recruiting with prospective student-athletes interested in Track & Field and the throwing events
This is a PAID position! If interested, please email Head Coach Tyler McQuality at

Mather H.S.:

Mather High School in Chicago is seeking assistant track coaches for the 2020 season. The team is in need of coaches in the areas of sprints, jumps and throws. However candidates interested in distance are also welcome.
The Mather team is co-ed. These are paid positions. Coach would have the opportunity to have a significant positive impact on the lives of student athletes!
If interested please email Co-Head Coaches Makenzie Carr ( and Joe Sullivan (

Saint Francis H.S. Wheaton, IL:

Saint Francis College Prep H.S. is looking for a throws coach. This coach would be coaching both boys and girls. If you are interested contact Head Coach Mike Prizy at


Dan McQuaid from Wheaton North H.S. has finished his third article on the throws from the World Championships in Doha. It is a great read! Check it out at.

Dan has been publishing throwing articles for over 20 years.  He was a contributing author to The Long & Strong Throwers Journal for many years.  Several issues are published on the website.  When that publication stopped, he started this blog and has been going strong ever since.  You can read all his articles on  You can also enroll at this website to get automatic updates when articles are published.

Finally, (Man this is a long newsletter) for those of you who have received this newsletter in the past you already have received the link to these resources.

Great Resource for Throws Coaches: Some of you may remember back at the ITCCCA clinic in 2016 I created a google share drive folder called “ITCCCA Sharing Session 2016”. This folder has materials that were shared by many throws coaches in Illinois. If you haven’t checked this out I highly suggest you do. You will not be disappointed: I have changed the settings so that anyone with a link can view the material.

Link to Google Drive Folder:


PS. If there is any news you would like to publicize let me know. I will get it out on the next newsletter.

Also, if I can help you with questions or resources please feel free to email me at

Ryan Whiting’s Learn By Doing Throws Camp on December 14-15, 2019 at Burlington Central HS

Hello Everyone,

    As you may have heard Burlington Central High School is hosting National Indoor Champion Chase Ealey and the rest of the Throws Lab staff will be there as well. Check out the attached flyer and feel free to copy it and give it to your throwers and fellow coaches.  This is for athlete and coaches. I suggest you sign up sooner rather than later since there are a limited number of spots.  The link to the registration site is below.
    Hope all of you are having a great Summer.
Jim Aikens
Throws Coach
Burlington Central High School

Throws News You Can Use

Hello Everyone,     

     I hope all who attended this years ITCCCA Clinic enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. For those of you who missed it you missed a good one. Ryan Whiting did an amazing job presenting his progression on how he teaches the rotational shot and discus. His learn by doing sessions were excellent. You can check out Ryan’s website at  Feel free to contact Ryan if you have further questions about his presentation.

     Nick Garcia from Notre Dame High School in California gave some great insights to training throwers.  Nick’s presentations were really helpful in gaining some great insights into training. Be sure to check out Coach Garcia’s website for more information regarding his training at Be sure to contact Nick if you have further questions regarding his presentations.

     Scott Bennett  gave a great presentation on a simplified way to teach rotational throwing.  He is currently with Madison Throws club in Middleton, Wisc. Check him out on Instagram at @coachbennett88. Be sure to contact Coach Bennett if you have further questions regarding his presentation at

     All the speakers were talking about the benefits of throwing heavy implements. If you attended the clinic or even if you didn’t, Justin Rodhe, who represented Canada in the 2012 Olympics and was a  21+ meter shot putter, sells some tremendous products for throwing such as throwing straps and throwing gloves that help support the wrist when throwing heavy.  Attached is a flyer that gives you a 20% discount with the code on the flyer.  Be sure to check it out. Rodhe Sport Brochure

     Finally don’t forget the A-Z Throwers Clinic is coming up fast! It will be held this year on Sunday, January 27th at Wheaton North High School.  Again this year there are about 20 area coaches who have volunteered their time to work with your throwers.  It is a hands on learn by doing experience with a 1 coach to 5 kids ratio.  Coaches are welcome also and encouraged to ask questions and take video. Get signed up at

     Looking forward to the start of another great season! Good Luck and if any of you have anything I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jim Aikens

Throws Coach Burlington Central H.S.

Jim Aikens Throws Newsletter – Upcoming Clinics

Hello Everyone,

   It won’t be long until the indoor track season is upon us.  With that in mind there are a couple of key things that you as a throws coach might want to be aware of.
1. The annual ITCCCA Clinic will be on Friday & Saturday January 11th & 12th.  The throws line up is AWESOME! This year Ryan Whiting a World Champion shot putter and multiple NCAA champion in the shot and discus will be presenting. Also presenting is Nick Garcia who is one of the most successful high school throws coaches in California. He has coached multiple champions in state and national championships. Finally Scott Bennett who has coached multiple champions including Andy Bloom and Aretha Hill will also be presenting.  Get signed up for the clinic ASAP! it will b here before you know it. Go to to get signed up.
2. The A-Z Throws Clinic will be held on January 27th at Wheaton North High School.  This is the premier throws clinic in the state of Illinois. The coach to athlete ratio is the best you are going to find . It is 5 athletes to every coach.  Some of the best throws coaches in Illinois work this event.  Get yourselves and your kids signed up as soon as possible.  Go to to get signed up.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving but do not wait on these great opportunities!
Jim Aikens
Throws Coach Burlington Central High School

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: