Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Mac Attack

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When I think of Mac Wilkins or should I say Malcolm Maurice Wilkins, I think of one of the best technicians of discus throwing. Mac wasn't just good at the discus, Wilkins also had lifetime bests of 69' 1 1/4" in the shot put, 208' 10" in the hammer throw and 257' 4" in the javelin while at the University of Oregon. If these numbers didn't impress you I'm sure his discus performance did the trick with his all time best of 70.86m.
The reason I named this post Mac Attack is because of the Way Mac Wilkins attacks the circle. I have not seen another thrower do it as well as Mac. Mac as I mentioned earlier is a force of nature through the circle. He attacks the front of the circle with such ferocity that the discus has no choice but to obey his every command. A Houdini in the circle, a work of art, and a fierce competitor, Mac commands respect because he earned it.
I'm sure all you disc heads out there have watched Mac's slow motion clip and all gawked in amazement as he composed an impeccable symphony in the circle. He seems to make his own rules with every movement and derives a tremendous amount of force with each position he hits. This God Father of motion makes us all humble and jealous at the same time because of the ease of it all. Someday I hope to be as graceful as him. Someday I hope to be a work of art in motion.
Lets take a look at him in top form:

I know what you are thinking, this is amazing!! But the question is why? Before you read the rest of this post watch the video and try to answer the question in your mind. Well, here is what makes Mac so smooth in the circle in my opinion:
  • His attack of the front of the circle. I am amazed at how he can gather such an immense amount of force in the circle and contain it all in a one step reverse. Not many people can do that anymore. Its a dying art.
  • His balance. Is it me or does Mac just have the best body consciousness (a concept I will talk about in the future) I have ever seen. He knows what each part of his body is doing in the circle at all times during his spin.
  • His wonderful use of the right leg in the center. I don't know anybody who uses their right leg as well as Mac. Unlike most contemporary throwers who fail at doing this well (including myself) Mac makes this look effortless. Watch closely at how all the power in his right leg is transfered straight into his arm to create a nice whip which slings the discus out at a high speed. Remember that a fast initial speed of release of the discus plus proper angle of release is directly proportional to distance.
  • His patience out of the back of the circle. Mac does wonders with how low he gets when coming from the back and how he lets his right foot overtake the speed of his upper torso in order to create torque in the middle. Amazing!!!
This is truly one of my favorite video's to watch because it shows me how far away my technique is from being perfect. We need to take the initiative to to learn from one of the greatest throwers and take a bit of his technical precision and make it ours. We all have unique techniques because our bodies all move to a different tune. Lets pick the aspects of Macs technique to complement ours. "Learn from the best and someday you will be the best in your unique way."Mac is a unique individual both as a competitor and a technician. The Mac Attack is back!


Anonymous said...

Great post Yemi, I enjoyed watching you throw the past four years. I had the opportunity to watch your amazing performance in Des Moines last year.. Good luck in everything else you do in life!

-Cody Bahrke

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

Thanks for the great commendation. I appreciate your support. Have a great day.