Zen in the Art of Throwing
By: Tony Ciarelli,
man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action"
I have always felt that
preparation for the throwing events was much like preparing for
the martial arts. Not just the physical movements, but the mental
preparation as well. Our dojo (practice hall) is the ring; we do
our kata (practicing of form and movements) much the same as martial
artist perfecting our techniques to the smallest details. The words
the samurai lived by were WASA~KI~SHIN (Technique~Energy~Attitude).
WASA, Technique always comes first and foremost, but technique
is not enough by itself. KI, Energy is needed; this energy
has to be developed to come from within each of us both physically
and mentally. SHIN, Last to throw far we must develop an
attitude or spirit about throwing and ourselves. WASA~KI~SHIN
these are the words to live by and must be understood and brought
together into one if we are to throw far.
form is formless"
WASA, we cannot
think about throwing far without understanding and feeling the positions.
As throwers we must be able to break each throw down into the smallest
details. We need to understand how each movement relates to the
next movement, from the start of the throw to the finish. Each movement
must be felt and understood, to throw far we need to feel every
part of our body from the tips of our toes to the tips of our fingers.
This is done by study, seeking knowledge and understanding becoming
a student, knowing that throwing farther is always possible. We
apply this knowledge through drills, drills, and more drills, concentration
on effortless effort to bring about a natural movement. We must
make the techniques and movements become as natural as walking.
Understand the positions so well that we no longer have to think
about them we just feel the movement we no think the throw.
capabilities can exceed your limitations"
KI, there is more
to throwing than just hitting the positions. We have to create and
center our energy. To create physical energy we must lift, run,
jump, and throw. Every rep you do in practice throughout the year
is storing energy in your body for that big throw you need at the
end of the season. Once we have created this energy we must be able
to center it and apply it to the implement or it does us no good.
We have all known weightlifters that could lift enormous amounts
of weight but still not throw far. Along with the physical energy
there is the mental energy, this can be our best friend or our worst
enemy. How many times have we seen throwers getting their best throws
in warm-ups because they are relaxed and centered, then the judge
says lets get started and these throwers say to themselves, "I wasn't
even trying, now I'm really going to kill it" and the distance drops.
When we have a rhythm we must not change we have to stay at the
center, keeping our mental and physical energy balanced and focused.
Our normal mind, no thought, mind and body become one and the energy
flows from the thrower into the throw. Play like you practice and
practice like you play.
with practice and a proper mental attitude"
SHIN, to me throwing
is not a game, it is not a sport, it is a system of self-actualization,
half physical and half spiritual much like Zen in the martial arts.
It is a form of meditation; the ring is a place to go where you
can feel the center of all things, be the center of all things.
I feel that the discipline involved in becoming a thrower is much
the same as becoming a master of the martial arts. It takes a single
mindedness that not all people can achieve. Throwers must be able
to use their sprit, their mind, to be able to say to themselves
"this is going to be the best throw of my life" on every throw.
Just like the martial artist that sees himself breaking the board
before he does it, the thrower must see himself throwing farther
every time he steps into the ring. And you get into the ring again
"this is going to be the best throw of my life" every throw in every
meet throughout the season. Remember that throwers are the best
athletes on the planet, you must set you standards high, fulfill
the expectations of what you are, become more than what you have
been. AUDACITY! AUDACITY! AUDACITY!
the mind is like a garden it will grow whatever you plant within
International Copyright © of CoachesEducation.com. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without
express written permission
of CoachesEducation.com is strictly prohibited.