top of page

Javelin Zone


To help every athlete reach his or her full athletic potential.

Training fundamentals




Goals of training:


Fine-tune your body to throw far, stay healthy and have fun.


-Improve conditioning and flexibility: 

You have to become a good runner, jumper and thrower, with an important amount of strength, flexibility and core power to become a good thrower and to prevent injury. Period.  No short cuts. 

You need to build multi directional agility before you start lifting heavy weights and finding your throwing stroke is most important. The drills will bring the stroke to you. This take time and patience and can only be done well after years of practice and quality training. The weak side is most important part of training and will help you find you strong side stroke.  As you train, you will improve your fitness and conditioning, thus you will become a better thrower and help your body whip create the throw. Javelin is one of the most physically demanding events on your back shoulder elbow and knees. You run up and build momentum and jump into the penultimate step and block at plant into the throw that creates a chain reaction from the ground up through the legs and and hips on to the back and shoulders on to the elbow and wrist to the release. Tom’s focus was on the block and left side action that created the reaction and throw. He never gave command to throw, he gave the the block the command and stretch reflex just happens.  It is hard to imagine but toms throwing arm / shoulder were relaxed and waiting for the block to hit.  Take a look at his video in slow motion and you will see his right side is loose and jelly like and left side is attacking.


-Training smart helps the javelin thrower find the bump energy

Javelin is an event that includes physics, as you use your body to create a catapult that will launch the javelin. You have to understand how the center of gravity is moved during the throw, how to use your legs and center of gravity to create with a clean block the hight, how you use your rotation to create additional power and how you delay your arm to create a longer acceleration. This creates two things, speed that is transferred into the implement, and hight that will create a better flying orbit. Both will result in a longer distance. Learn how to throw really good at 30%/40%/50%/60%.

The optimal throw is 85-90 % one rep max. I thought it was 110% or more in his early years. Then he found the zone after getting help from sports psychologist Bob Niddefer trying camps in 1982. 6 months later 99.72 m 3272 feet.  So quality training is key.


- Training helps you to develop mentally, emotionally, physically

World class athletes have one thing in common: They are winners, believers of their talent, aggressive competitors that want to win. This can only be done after years of mental preparation. You have to be able to handle the pressure in order to succeed, not only in sports, but in life. You have to learn to believe in your given talents and gifts. You are unique and no-one can tell you: You can’t do it. You can, You will, you watch me!!!!!  was Tom’s motto all his life.  You must have an anchor to have a sense of purpose to throw far and shut up the critics.  Just do it !!!!!!!


- Have fun: 

We spend many hours doing a hard training, for many many years. Having fun is vital. Turbojav and Javelin are fun events that can be practiced by various age groups, levels, gender. We want to have fun during training and competition. Its a good way to have fun to do sports.  We mixed up training weekly so we would not get board and complacent. We played basketball with 3-4 k med balls , we played soccer with 2k medals, we threw and punted footballs, we threw baseballs, we did weighted uphill and downhill with flak jackets.  We threw rocks at the beaches, snow balls in winter, played a lot of tennis as well.  Tom  was very good swimmer and swam 2-3 times a week 500-700  meters in all strokes and did lots of mobility drills. 1-3 meter diving was a blast unless you missed. lol . Bottom line is to have fun training and make it good quality. Get fit.


  • Learn to focus: 

Tom’s philosophy was simple. Go to practice with positive attitude with total focus on training so you can get quality workout without distractions.  Turn off the cell phone and music distractions.  You have plenty of time to do that during the day.  We never trained with distractions.  Our mission was so focused that it reflected in our results on the field.  When we were training you could see how much fun we had and how hard we worked.  I was like training animal for 2-3 hours a day but twice a day most times. 1 hour in am 2 hours pm or visa versa. We would mix it up. Three days on one day off, two days on one day off. One light session, one hard session.  The mental part of training was at night and during the day when Tom needed a nap.  It was good to rest for 45-1 max and do mental training with eyes closed laying down. I close my eyes and try to turn on TV set of me getting warmed up of the competition.  It took me six months of practice to turn the TV on. I was seeing static for months and then slowly it started to come and then it became like HD clear picture.  That is where i found the throwing zone. The mind and body became one and javelin throwing became easy.  



Principles of training:


There are many things that we need to understand before you get into full training program. TAAT system is very simple to do. It was created over years by Paul Ward and Bill Webb 1977.  The first thing to do is to test your skills set on many different tests to access your strength and weakness for throwing events. Adjust the training load to fix your weakness and maintain strength. Once your balanced you can go harder and load the training.  This will also help your athletes to prevent injuries as well. We not only train to throw farther, we train to prepare when we miss the throw at full speed. It hurts when you miss and you can injure yourself easily if out of alignment. Also important is how important rest and stretching is just as important as training.  Tom did all his stretching in the evening watching TV.  Massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments helped as well as good nutrition and hydration.  No diet really.  We burned like a hot furnace and nothing would stick to us. You must not go to practice hungry as this is counter productive. I always ate 2-3 hours before training.  Always had water to hydrate and did it often.  

Tom would always warm up 15 to 20 minutes of fun stuff to loosen up and slowly build the session as it went.  No rush to get it over with. Rest in between reps was also important.   20-30% effort 40—50 % by one hour your at 60-70% and never go over 80% effort.  The javelin take 5-6 seconds then you have two wait 10-15 sometimes 20 minutes between throws. You can’t practice that way.  Take 1-2 minutes between reps and mix up drills so you get coordinated and mix in throws during your workout to show your body what the training is for.  


Tom took 2 months off from training after summer to allow the body to rest and heal. Training was reduced to beach swimming, easy jogging, tennis, golf, NO JAVELIN throwing for 3-4 months. I would put them away until December and and start easy 20-40% max both arms.  Resting is fundamental to allowing the body to recover from 25-30 meets of throwing and traveling around the world. Tom never had any major injuries. He did tweak himself few times, groin, shoulder, back, ankle over the years but few days rest and therapy would do it. 

Active resting: Swimming became essential, was done (how many times per week?


After a nice long break from javelin , the body and mind were hungry again to get ready to get ready for next season. We started with for 5-6 weeks of buildup training to get fit, stronger, for the new track and field season. This was the same deal for 18 years.  Consistent training, good training partners, good therapy team and most of all good family. Awesome wife who supported me. It is very important that you have a good team to help you reach your goals. 


Tom never was injured in more than two decades of javelin throwing. This is a record by itself. Few javelin throwers manage to be on top for more than five seasons, very few for more than 10, only one javelin thrower in history was world class for more than two decades. 



- Warm up: 

Before every training session you must be sure that your body is warm, this means running 2-3 laps, stretching and doing some running and throwing drills, before you can add intensity to your training. Never start the main exercise without a proper warm up.

Check our warm up section to get a clear understanding on what needs to be done.


- Test your fitness:

Testing your level of fitness is key to understand where you are and what needs to be improved. Before we start our training cycle, we must have an idea where you are. As training progresses, we need to keep track


We have a standard test that includes measuring your running, jumping, flexibility, strength, throwing capabilities, strong side and weak side. Monitor your weight too. Javelin throwers are slim, strong, light athletes! You have to keep track of what you eat and what you drink.


We include a test every month in order to monitor the progress being made. An improvement of the  physical abilities will result in a longer throw.



- Training book

Most athletes keep track on their training and take notes on the training sessions made. This becomes important in the future as it helps the athlete have a clear view of what is being made over long periods of time. Have a book and take notes on your progress. Its a fun way to understand your activities



- Training cycles: 


Active resting: once the season is over, it is very important that we allow our body to rest. It does not mean that we have to lay in bed and do nothing. No, during this phase, we do other sports activities to keep the body active. Swimming has been one of my favorite activities during the offseason. I still keep swimming, as it is not only a workout, but a way to relax the muscles and keep them strong. Go out for an easy jogging, 15-30 minutes, stretch, do some long walks, play basketball, soccer, tennis.


Frequency: 4-5 times a week


Prep phase: November-February. 


Specific technical training

General Strength

General Throwing


Frequency: 5-6 times a week


2 times fitness

2 times throwing and technical training

2 times strength

Duration of training: up to 75 minutes, including warm up-cool down



Competition: March-June (USA), May-August (Europe)


Specific technical training

Explosive Strength

Specific Throwing


Frequency: 5-6 times a week

2 times fitness

2 times throwing and technical training

2 times strength

1 time competition


Duration of training: up to 75 minutes, including warm up-cool down




short term

mid term

long term


mixing: 1/3 run, 1/3 jump, 1/3 throw


Age 8: 3 sessions a week

Age 9-10, 4 sessions a week

Age 11-13, 5 sessions a week

Age 14-16, 6 sessions a week

Age 17-19, 10 sessions a week


Session no longer than 1 hour





Training: what do we need to improve



What is … and how to improve it



What is … and how to improve it



What is … and how to improve it



What is … and how to improve it



What is … and how to improve it


Explosivity: overall body

What is … and how to improve it



What is … and how to improve it



Improve throwing strength: how much, how many, depending on age group. 


Kids 8 years old, not more than 50 total throws, all together, 

Kids 9-10, 100 throws, 

Kids 11-13, 150 throws, 

Kids 14-16 200 throws


Training duration

Kids 8         30 minutes

Kids 9-10    40 minutes

Kids 11-13    50 minutes

Kids 14-16    60 minutes


The younger the athlete, the less training has to be done. Kids get bored and loose interest easily. It will be common to see a kid age 8 come and throw 3 times, before he gets bored and decides to play. Don’t force him to throw, as this will be counterproductive to him. Have have together, may be one session you can do games (target throws), the other technical session, the other distance session. Try to be active during the training session, find new ways to motivate them all the time, celebrate their progress and make them believe that they can do it.


What can we do:


Lifting (own body weight, weights)

Throws (medball, ball, turbojav, Javelins)

Flexibility: passive and active, robber bands, body weight

Jumps: all sorts of jumps, long, up, down, over barriers such as hurdles, stairs

Run: Short and long runs

Conditioning: a javelin competition can last up to two hours, and then, at nationals, have intervals until the next heat finishes. Conditioning becomes a key element. Warm up 45 minutes, competition up to 120 minutes, its almost 3 hours of readiness. Many competitions are won in the last throw, so you must have a superb overall condition and endurance and be fit, not only mentally, but physically





standing throw

1-3-5-7 step throw

Full approach


How to do it?

The importance of doing a lot of throws from long approaches

The importance to do a lot of throws, from different positions, to develop the feel of the throw, the fitness, the precision throwing, feeling the body, how it works together, from legs, to torso, to shoulder, to arm, to wrist, to fingers. You must feel the javelin, the throw

The importance of throwing clean 

The importance to dose the energy put into the throw

Weak side-strong side: 1/3 weak, 2/3 strong

Repetitions of clean movement with all sorts of implements

Cross training, one sports helps the other sports, baseball-football-javelin



Rehabilitation and injury prevention


I was lucky not get hurt during my javelin and baseball career, since injuries are part of sports due to the high tension and workload that the body is exposed during countless hours of sports.


I learned from the very best of the event and from other sports. I developed my own prevention system that has been my key to success during sports. Protect your body (don't don't don't throw hard, throw a lot), building up pressure, slow process to get fit. 


Prevent, rehab, relax, rest





Feel your body

Weight: what is the ideal weight, eat healthy, use superfoods, supplements

Captura de Pantalla 2022-08-31 a la(s) 08.06.24.png
bottom of page