Duncan Atwood is a two-time Olympic qualifier in the javelin. He has worked with USA Track and Field's high-performance project, and he is an assistant coach at Seattle Pacific University.
This past winter, he spent a day with Othello's Christine Kirkwood to help with her work on the javelin.
Atwood's main teaching technique is to pull three videos of elite throwers and play them side-by-side with a video of the athlete with whom he is working to give a visual representation of what the student needs to improve.
"I do a comparison of the top three finishers at the Olympics and the person who wants my services," Atwood said. "That's if they are high level. If they are in high school, it depends, I'll do a high level, but more age-appropriate."
So, with the high school senior Kirkwood, what examples did Atwood show?
"I did my comparison with some of the top world-class people," he said.
Atwood did that because Kirkwood is an elite talent, not your typical high school javelin thrower. She holds the Washington high school record (162 feet, 10 inches), has a good chance of setting the Pasco Invite record Saturday and has an outside chance at going after the national record this season.
With all that said, Atwood still sees things Kirkwood can improve.
"There are several stages of technical development," Atwood said. "She's got the first few stages down really well. She has had excellent coaching from her high school coach. The hard part comes next, though.
"She needs to add a lot of running speed into the throw. She is so powerful, she can throw real far without using speed. Sometimes it is hard for athletes to shut off the power and use the momentum."