Monthly Archives: July 2011


Oh man, is it Friday again already?


Three javelin videos a week, and one training video a week. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time to answer your questions. And for that, I apologize.


What I am going to do is dedicate the daily videos on this site like this:

Monday – Strength and Conditioning

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – Throwing Technique

Friday – Rapid Fire Q and A


Today is the first rapid fire Q and A session. On the Primal Facebook page I asked people to leave questions for me. In about an hour I had close to 10 questions. After one day I had close to 50. I picked some of the best that were on topic to what we have been discussing over the past month and answered them by video.




So that’s it for the first rapid fire Q and A. If your question didn’t get answered, leave your question on the Primal Athlete Training Center Facebook page. I will answer it on Facebook and the other fans of the Primal page can help answer too.


So get some discussions going online. Help each other and start spreading the knowledge.


See you back here on Monday for some killer grip training.

-Coach Matt Ellis



Happy Thursday everybody,


Today we finish up the week of javelin training by taking another step towards getting you more PR’s and throwing farther on a consistent basis.


Today’s discussion is all about exploding into the throw.


Watch the top throwers no matter what the event. Shot, discus, javelin, you will see something similar between all of the events. The athletes get airborne at one point just before the power position.


Now, they aren’t leaping in the air like they are trying to dunk a basketball. They are bounding forward, barely getting more than 6 inches off the ground.


The reason for this is to increase speed.


With the javelin, your goal during the approach run is to accelerate and build up speed until you are at your top speed right as you start to throw. The only way to go beyond that speed for a little “turbo boost” is to get in the air and reduce the time and friction of the feet hitting the ground.


Check out the video to learn more:




So there you have it. One more step to getting you throwing further than ever before.


Tomorrow I will be doing some rapid-fire questions in video format. I am trying to do about 5 questions in under 10 minutes. Real quick.


If you want your question to be answered, go to the Primal Athlete Training Center facebook page and leave your question right on the wall. If it is a good one, I will answer it in tomorrow’s video.


Thanks, and see you tomorrow.

Coach Matt Ellis


Happy Wednesday everyone,


Today we continue our discussion about the javelin throw. Today’s video is a little out of order but it is something that should be covered before we move any further.


From here on out, the drills and techniques I demonstrate will involve the javelin being drawn all the way back. Even though we aren’t at that point in the full approach, we still have to cover it.


So here’s the question. Do you actively pull the javelin back with the throwing arm? Check out the video below to learn more.




So hopefully you see the difference between pulling the javelin back and walking in front of it.


You never want to put an opposite force on that javelin. If the javelin is moving forward as you do the approach, you don’t want to simple throw it backward. Practice this and notice the slight difference. Once you master it your throws will be smoother and you will see improvement.


Make sure to keep checking back in daily to learn more. Ask questions, join us on Facebook, and improve your throws on a daily basis.


-Coach Matt Ellis


Hey everyone,


This has to be a quick blog post today, so I apologize. Lots of throwers coming in to Primal today to train and I am doing a 90 minute throwing session this afternoon.


No rest for the hard working coach I guess.


Today’s blog is about proper blocking techniques and timing. For many of us, throwing is very second nature. We have been throwing our whole lives. Baseball, softball, football, you name the popular American sport, it involves throwing.


So for that reason, the timing of a throw should be pretty easy. Once you incorporate the blocking with the non-power leg and foot, it can get a little tricky.


So check out the video below. For a lot of throwers, this will seem pretty simple and basic. But really check out your form and take a good look at yourself. Are you really timing the block and release correctly?




So there it is. Go out to the field, take a javelin, and make sure you’ve got this right. Anyone can throw a baseball or a football far. Throwing a javelin and becoming the best at it takes timing and patience. Tomorrow and Thursday I will be going over some more drills to ensure you are releasing the javelin correctly and applying the most power as possible into your throws.


So make sure to keep telling your friends, teammates, and coaches about Spread the word and keep asking those questions. I am here to help you become better.



Coach Matt




Hey everybody,


First I want to say a big thank you to everyone who shared last Friday’s blog post and video on Facebook and Twitter. It got a lot of hits in only a few days. I am glad so many of you agreed that learning the event and becoming a student of the event is more important than copying the great throwers of the past.


Since Friday is usually dedicated to a training and conditioning post and I didn’t do one for you, I decided to do it today.


Today’s video and blog post is all about Functional Training for Track and Field Throwers.


You see, functional training has been growing and spreading through every aspect of the fitness industry. Functional training has also gotten a bad rep among trainers and experts. There are companies dedicated to selling functional training equipment. Many experts think functional training is simply using the equipment to work out.


This couldn’t be further from the truth. Mike Boyle, a very well known and very decorated strength coach located outside of Boston, defines functional training as simply training with a purpose. Training with a specific goal in mind.


Throwers have been using functional training methods for years as part of their training. The most functional thing you can do to improve your throws is to get out there and throw as much as possible. A long time ago throwers started using heavier and lighter implements to become stronger and faster in their events. They also used medicine balls, throwing puds, and throwing specific equipment to get better.


I bet throwers were some of the original functional training experts. Watch the video below to learn more:




Hopefully that irons some things out. Training should be functional to what you are looking to accomplish. If you want to throw a discus 200 feet or a shot put 70 feet, you need to train specifically with that goal in mind.


Stick to the basics when you are in the weight room. Compound barbell and dumbbell movements, bodyweight exercises, and kettlebells are the best. Isolation movements, machines, bodybuilding strategies, and slow cardio should be avoided. Define what it takes to be a thrower and train those things specifically.


Get your body to “function” the way a thrower’s body should.


Check back in tomorrow for more javelin videos and technique. Keep spreading the word by liking these posts on Facebook. Track season is only a few months away. If you haven’t been telling your teammates and friends about PrimalATC they’ve already lost out on half of their off-season.



Coach Matt Ellis


Hey everybody,


Well, it finally happened. After years of having people ask me if I throw with the “Powell” technique or the “Wilkins” style, I lost it.


The other day someone commented on a YouTube video that I should just “Admit” my technique is the same as John Powell.


Pretty much accusing me of stealing my technique from John Powell.


Funny thing is, the only person who throws like John Powell is John Powell.


Watch the video below to learn more. This has already gotten a lot of views and a lot of comments. Please let me know what you think.




A comment on YouTube made the best argument. Look at Christian Cantwell. Guy is one of the best shot putters in the world. Look at his form.


Straight legs in the back. Stands pretty upright in the power position. According to all the “experts” he shouldn’t be throwing as far as he is because he doesn’t resemble Oldfield or Barnes.


But Christian and his coach understand that he is hitting all the right spots, he is separating his body correctly, uses the right leverage, and launches the ball.


Tell him he is doing it wrong.


I didn’t think you would.


See you Monday,

Coach Matt Ellis

Hey everybody,


I have got a video coming out tomorrow that is going to make a lot of people mad. I am just warning you in advance.


For today, I need to finish up this javelin release video series. Today’s video starts to incorporate the lower body into the release.


Every throwing event is a big leg movement. You actually throw with your legs. The legs produce power through the ground. The legs and hips put power into the throw. If you aren’t involving the legs and the hips, you are really losing a lot of force on your throws.


Check out the video below to learn more.




Even though it seems really easy and that this type of release drill is second nature to a lot of people, it is extremely important that we teach the turning of the heel all the way over early and often.


Check in next week for more javelin technique and drills. Make sure you tune in tomorrow because I am going to reallly make a lot of people mad.


Check out Primal Athlete Training Center on Facebook or just click “like” on the right.



Coach Matt Ellis

Happy Wednesday Everybody,


Coach Matt here back again with another javelin release drill you can take out to the field tomorrow to improve your throw.


Yesterday you watched a video that demonstrated the basic release drill. Taking the throwing arm, applying force right down the point, and sticking it into the ground. The left arm and the lower body were not involved.


Today the video you will watch starts to incorporate the left arm. Much like the shot put and the discus, the left arm must come in and down the side of the body. Check out the video below to learn more.




Hopefully you all noticed the slight pull with the non-throwing arm before the throwing arm started to come through. This is very important as it creates a stretch reflex across the chest and applies more snap and whip to the end of the throw.


Check back in tomorrow where I will be demonstrating the incorporation of the lower body into the throw.


Keep spreading the word about Click the like button in the Facebook app on the right or simply forward this blog post and video to your friends, teammates, and coaches. Let’s get some great comments and questions flowing and start helping each other out.



Coach Matt Ellis

Hey everybody,


Coach Matt here with your Tuesday technique video. As you know, we have been covering the javelin and we are starting week two. Today, Wednesday, and Thursday we will be going over the javelin release and the idea of throwing through the point.


After watching the video below, you might be wondering why I am taking so much time going over this. After all, releasing the javelin through the point can be explained with a pen like I did last week.


The thing is, this is the most important part of the throw.


The problem is, kids in the U.S. grow up throwing baseballs, softballs, and footballs. Throwing is a part of our culture. So throwing a javelin and releasing correctly is sometimes overlooked.


The approach run, the crossovers, drawing the javelin back, and all the other things we will cover over the next few weeks are seen as most important and the release is quickly skipped over. Excuses like “I’ve been playing baseball since I was five years old” and “I can throw a football 50 yards” subconsciously makes us forget about mastering the release.


Just 3 minutes before practice and meets is all you need to master throwing through the point.




10 release drills like I just demonstrated, 10 release drills I will cover tomorrow, and 10 release drills I will cover Thursday. 30 releases to help you master throwing through the point. All 30 throws can be done in under 3 minutes.


Say you do these before every practice and meet. Minimum of 5 days a week for an entire season. Do the math. That’s 150 release drills a week. In a 15 week season, that’s 2250 releases. If you train all summer and fall, that’s 6750 release drills. Imagine how good your release will be in just a short time?


Check in tomorrow for the second release drill. Until then, practice that release and throw far!

-Coach Matt Ellis

Hi everybody,


This is another crazy busy week for me. Working at a football camp 3 days this week, 4 more videos to produce, training hungry athletes all week at Primal, throwing, and working as a strength coach for the top Division 1 football team in the state. Plus a full time husband and dad. Wow.


Not that busy at all, right?!


That’s why this blog post and video is up a little late. Hopefully I get to post the others this week at the usual time.


On the Primal Athlete Training Center facebook page:

I was asked a question with a pretty simple answer, but actually responded with two complicated ones.


This just goes to show that you need to be a student of your events. One incorrect thing might have 10 or 15 different things causing it to happen.


Just think. Say your issue is that your upper body is coming through too early. The solution might be found:

In the back of the circle, the middle of the circle, the mirror turn, the power position, the combination of a few previously listed, or simply it’s a timing issue.


Be a student of the event. Don’t look for solutions to the issue, fix the problem at the source. Check the video below for more:




So there you have it. Become a student of your event. Keep watching the videos here and on YouTube. Read this blog. Train and work hard all summer long and all fall.


Next year when you are at the top of the podium and the other throwers in your state are looking up at you, it’s going to feel great.



Coach Matt Ellis