Ramblings of a Lonely LBAC Thrower
Track & Field – Southend – Sunday 17th July 2016
by David Killick
Some of you may not know but we are an athletics club and actually do things that don’t involve running. This could to some, mean going to the Black Lion, but I am actually pointing to the track and field that we engage in over the summer. Below is some light reading in the life of the only official senior male who takes throwing events seriously.
3rd round of the EAL took us to Sarrrrrrffffffeend. Road trips have now become legendary in the club, not due to drinking antics that may be seen in rugby clubs but mainly how long before adults ear drums are burst by screaming kids on the coach, who can bag the back seat (I lost again) and the times when Nick Clay has you locked on the coach to see how many events he can persuade you to do before your body breaks.
Well the last is an exaggeration these days as we are putting out some talented junior athletes and adults who have actually trained for events. And yes I have trained for throws this year, mostly in secret. It’s probably isn’t wrong for me to say that I am the only senior male athlete who actually trains for track and field, which has been Saturday morning at Vandyke school hurling any object I can find with Mrs K seeking items to throw that may break club records as well (yes she has been more successful than me at this so far).
Throw events to me have now become like a drug. Probably not good for my body, should have done it in my youth, and when you have done it once you want something better next time. So with that I have been on a journey over the past 2 years in the hammer, shot, discus and javelin. Hours looking at YouTube clips at lunchtimes, reading up on coaching techniques that all say something different to get to a point where actually asking like-minded athletes what the best thing to do is.
On the EAL circuit there are a group of regular guys who throw, all about a foot taller than me, weighing in most cases a few pounds heavier and having been coached and trained from a young age. Chuck into this mix a slightly ageing, short guy who is technically a runner. In the early days I was sort of shunned, they knew I was only there for club points which annoy them and they really hate people who run further than 200m. That has changed over the past season as they see me turn out time and time again to finish last (coaching tip – learn to lose as winning is a bonus), but I still keep coming, watching their throw technique and bit by bit pushing myself that little bit further. This year a couple of them have actually started giving me tips, giving advice after a throw what went wrong, what I should be taking away and working on. I think we can take that as acceptance, but they still can’t work out why I do running.
Hammer is my ultimate challenge. At Southend I was going to unleash the spin rotation, which to be honest when you look at it on TV looks easy but take a 7.26kg ball of metal and let that thing go wrong is like a beer mile but in 10 seconds: very dizzy and vomit inducing. In warm up it became apparent the spin rotation was going to have to wait another day as my attempt saw me fly one way and the hammer the other way and Mrs K worrying I was going to kill myself. So over the shoulder it was. I had been practicing getting my arms straighter on release and on my 3rd attempt I finally broke 15m for the first time. And I didn’t come last!!!!!!!!!!. If I had thrown near my old PB I would have done but oh my it felt good. Mrs K is chasing me close on this one but she has one up on me now she has the woman’s club record.
Shot next. I hadn’t been practicing much on shot and the warm up throws were not my best. One of the beef cakes took me to one side and starting pointing out my technique was crap and was amazed I was getting any distance at all… Quick coaching session followed with talk of hip locking, pushing and thrusting (no edit required here this was the actual chat), so up for my final throw and bang 6.75m. Now my brain is a bit muddled these days with old age and I was convinced my PB was 6.88 so slightly disappointed and trudged off. By evening I had read my power of 10 and had actually beaten it by 4cm.
Discus, I love but it fell out of love with me at Southend, not helped by having to go from the 100m straight into it with a false start for someone next to me (meant I didn’t come last in the 100m) meaning I probably ran 150m at full pelt. With no warm up throw I was well off distance and my first competitive spin rotation attempt failed but it will come out at the next meeting.
Now javelin is one of those sports that just mystify me, but over time I have learnt why it falls tail down, how you get it to spin, wobble, land etc. I have been eking out a distance all season which saw me go past 20 metres at the beginning and each event since pull another PB. Southend just seemed to be right and oh my I cracked out a 24.94m beating my previous of 21.74. Now I think everyone around the track heard the legendary grunt that emits from my body when I am on my A game (Dave ‘the grunt’ Killick) and given my reaction you would have thought I had actually won. Now aiming for that magical 25m.
So why do I do it?! I learn so much from it that I can put back into junior training; I do actually like throws: the challenge, just me and no-one else. Most importantly I am building some bridges with other clubs that may see us do some link ups with them in the future, to help us with some specific training we can’t offer. Luton are keen to work with us on throws (and not steal our athletes) and also clubs are keen we go to some of the open events given the competition out juniors offer (we have some seriously good throwers at junior level). LBAC is being seen as a force to be reckoned with on the T&F circuit, maybe not at senior men’s but in the club our juniors are flying the Purple and Gold Banner and doing it well.
As for me, I am patching my body back up and hopefully fit for Luton in August. Crazy running events have broken me again. And Ladies and Gents any of you fancy giving it a go, let me know and I would be happy to give you a coaching session.