Strength and Tom Walsh
How does Strength play a big part in Shotput?
Strength plays a big part as you have to throw a 15 pound ball 22 metres at about 14 metres per second. You need Power to be able to achieve this. However, it’s not all about strength, there is a lot of technical skill that is required. You need the right timing/rhythm. Technique is crucial. In terms of muscle and physical strength – your whole body needs to be strong – not just your arm. Your legs need to be strong, as well as your upper body. You need good core strength.
What about mental Strength?
You need good mental strength to achieve. I’m not the biggest shot-putter, so seeing the bigger athletes can be intimidating. To manage this it simply comes back to the core idea of just believing in yourself. When you step into the circle, you just focus on you, and realise that size doesn’t matter. Just do your best. Having good mental Strength is key to having balance in life. In particular with individual sports, because they are so focused, you can get stuck in your own world a bit. It’s important to have ways to release, or ‘check-out’ for a moment, so you can recharge.
How did you get into Shotput?
I got into Shotput after many years of competing in sport at a high-level. Although I tried Shotput early on, for a long time I thought I would follow either cricket or rugby. It wasn’t until I was at an event and “Jacko” from Auckland won that I decided I was going to give Shotput a really solid go. Jacko and I have a good competitive relationship now, and it’s highly valuable having some to continually motivate yourself from and compete with.