Category Archives: Newsletter

Jim Aikens Throws Newsletter #2

This week starts the season for all of us. I don’t know about you guys but I’m ready to start coaching. below are a few items that you might find useful.

1. I said in the last newsletter that I was going to begin a blog that chronicles my 1st year of coaching the throws at (Burlington) Central High School. Well my 1st Blog is done. If you would like to read it go to:  If you like it please feel free to share it via twitter or facebook.
2. From Dan McQuaid about the A-Z Throws Clinic next Sunday 1/28.
       Are you a high school thrower looking to sharpen your technique for the upcoming season? Are you a throws coach looking to pick up some tips on helping your athletes sharpen their technique?

Either way, I can’t think of a better place to be on Sunday, January 28th than Wheaton North High School, new home to the A-Z Throws Clinic.

Athletes will receive expert instruction in the shot put (glide or rotational) and discus.

And unlike many throws clinics where each instructor is responsible for a couple dozen athletes, the A-Z features small group instruction. We have 15 excellent coaches with many years of experience (Jim Aikens, for example, began his stellar career teaching the rotational technique to Union soldiers using cannonballs) so every athlete will get plenty of individual attention from a knowledgeable professional.

Follow this link for info about the clinic schedule and registration.

3. All the notes from the ITCCCA Clinic are up and available on the ITCCCA Website. This is a good resource I go back to quite often.

4. FYI state qualifying marks for 2018

Girls Shot: 1A= 35′ 8″ / 2A= 37′ 2″ / 3A=38′ 2″

Girls Disc: 1A= 108′ 8″ / 2A= 112′ 10″ / 3A= 117′ 6″

Boys Shot: 1A= 47′ 9″ / 2A= 49′ 6″ / 3A= 52′ 7″

Boys Disc: 1A= 141′ 6″ / 2A= 145′ 10″ / 3A= 154′ 7″

 Hope all of you get some use out of these emails.

Jim Aikens Throws Newsletter #1

Fellow Throws Enthusiast,

Well, this past weekend was another successful ITCCCA Clinic. I enjoyed hearing the speakers and getting some new things to think about. If you haven’t yet check out the speakers notes go to  . I enjoyed the speakers but what I really enjoyed was seeing many of my coaching brethren and meeting new coaches. I wish I would have had more time to talk with everyone, that’s my favorite part of the clinic. The other great thing about the clinic is that it signals the beginning of the 2018 track season!!!!
A-Z Throws Clinic at Wheaton North High School on Sunday January, 28th from 9 am to 1:30 pmThis is a great opportunity for Athletes and coaches. It is a Learn-By-Doing meet where your athletes will get a lot of throws and personalized coaching. The ratio is typically 1 coach to 5 athletes and we have coaches set aside to help explain drills and concepts to visiting coaches. It’s a great deal for $50 in advance, $60 the day of the event if spots are left. to sign up go to:
Illinois Throws Association website, you may want to check out the Illinois Throws Association website. Roger Einbecker ( Waubonsie Valley) has done a great job compiling the “All Time Top Throws” in the state of Illinois.  There are clinic and education opportunities also presented on this site as well as Job Postings for throws coaches. We have also started a twitter account associated with the website, @illinois_throws if your on twitter please follow us.  The entire purpose of the site and the twitter is to help promote the throws in the state of Illinois.  Please contact me if you have an event yo want to promote or some other way to promote throws in Illinois.
Look for my Blog As many of you know I have retired from teaching & coaching at Fremd H.S. in Palatine, IL.  I will be coaching much closer to home this year at Burlington Central High School.  I am looking forward to working with a great set of coaches that are committed to excellence. The thing is they don’t exactly have a great throwing tradition there. I am excited about trying to develop one at the school and have received a lot of support form everyone at the school. The reason I tell you this is that I have been asked about doing a blog regarding the trials & tribulations of developing a throws program at a new school.  I plan on putting up my workouts, technique topics, organization and anything else that you as a coach might find useful. In fact If any of you attended my presentation at the past ITCCCA clinic what I presented was my yearly plan for coaching my new set of throwers. You will be able to follow my blog through ITCCCA.COM.
USA Weightlifting High School Combine Program. This is going to be a really cool event for your kids. It takes place at West Aurora High School Field house on Saturday February 3rd, 2018 from 9 am to 5 pm.  Both male and female athletes get to perform a timed 30m sprints, vertical jumps, standing broad jumps, power cleans and overhead squats. This event is going to be sweet! go to for details.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope it was helpful.
As  Spock that great Vulcan thrower used to say, “Live Long & Throw Far
Jim Aikens


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