PITSBURG – The throwing coaches from the Arcanum and Franklin Monroe track and field teams hosted a jointly run shot put camp in Pitsburg for a second consecutive year.
The shot put camp and next week’s discus camp in Arcanum give both teams’ coaches valuable time with athletes that they simply don’t get during the regular season.
“Just getting back to the fundamentals because a lot of the time by the end of the season you get so wrapped up in distances and trying to fine-tune some things and you get to the end of the year and there are things you can’t fix that if you’ve got to fix them you’ve got to break them down all the way back down to the fundamentals again,” Franklin Monroe coach Rick Ingold said.
Ingold and Arcanum throws coach Theo Whitaker have been friends for several years so the jointly run camps just made sense.
“It’s cool because not only are we friends but our kids are all friends, too,” Ingold said. “So it was kind of a natural progression when we did it last year that it just seemed like the logical next step that we took to start the camp. I think it’s going to be a pretty successful thing for a lot of years to come.”
The cooperation isn’t limited to a couple weeks in the summer as the coaches help athletes from both schools even during the school year.
“We kind of help each other’s teams out,” Whitaker said. “We probably shouldn’t say that and do that, but that’s what we do. Yeah, we’re FM and we’re Arcanum but we still really look to help each other out when we get to meets and things like that.”
During the five-day shot put camp, eight to 12 high school and junior high athletes worked on their craft each day. Most were from Arcanum and Franklin Monroe, but there also was a Tri-Village student in attendance. At next week’s discus camp in Arcanum a Versailles girl also will participate.
“I like the camp because you get kids who are really dedicated to throwing and really dedicated to track and they want to do better, and we’re giving them that platform to just get themselves better,” Whitaker said.
During the shot put camp, Whitaker worked with the throwers who use a spinning technique while Ingold focused on those who use a gliding technique.
“I’ve seen improvement out of the ones that are just doing rotations so it’s kind of cool when you get this extra time with them and you can tweak things that you’ve seen during the season and you just kind of didn’t have time to do during the season then come out here and fix things and they’re doing better,” Whitaker said.
While all the kids have shown improvement, the younger ones are really making progress.
“In four days that we’ve been here this week I’ve seen an immense amount of progress with like the five or six kids that I’ve worked with, especially some of the younger kids and some of the kids that are less experienced that haven’t really had the structured coaching that some of the older kids have,” Ingold said. “They’ve come a long, long way in four days. That’s what you like to see in a camp environment like this.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.