T Nation

Beginning Highland Games Training

Highland games look like a lot of fun. And it’s a dandy excuse to wear a skirt!

But I don’t really know how to start. I’ve been to some web pages and checked out stuff, and watched the National Championships here at the Highland Games in NH last summer, but I have no background in throwing or anything. How does one get started? I tried to find some people in the area who could help, and ran into a dead end.

Since so much of it depends on technique with power, I’m hesitant about just running out to start with no help.
I live near Concord, NH.

This is a question I’d also be very interested in hearing answered.

Particularly, I’m wondering if there are any suggested minimum strentgh levels/qualities a person should have or develop before seriously getting into Highland Games training.

Dan John! Isn’t this totally his area of expertise? Caber toss and throws and the like?

Kuz

  • Return with honor.

The best way is to visit a games and just do it.

I did my first games two years ago with no experience at all. I didn’t have to throw first in any event and all the competitors were more than willing to help me out. This is the best way to learn this.

Another option is to contact the local univeristy (or closet one) and talk to the track and field coach. They should be happy to help you learn some technique.

You could also get some implements, or make them, and practice, practice, practice.

Dan John has some great articles on this on his web site, just google Dan John and it’s the first hit.

On a related note, you’ll need a kilt. Try www.sportkilt.com. They’re stuff if the best and reasonably priced.

[quote]Kuz wrote:
Dan John! Isn’t this totally his area of expertise? Caber toss and throws and the like?

Kuz

  • Return with honor.[/quote]

Yeah. I need to PM him, pry him out of the Old Fart forum…err, the over 35 forum to help with this.
:wink:

[quote]flabtoslab wrote:
The best way is to visit a games and just do it.

I did my first games two years ago with no experience at all. I didn’t have to throw first in any event and all the competitors were more than willing to help me out. This is the best way to learn this.

Another option is to contact the local univeristy (or closet one) and talk to the track and field coach. They should be happy to help you learn some technique.

You could also get some implements, or make them, and practice, practice, practice.

Dan John has some great articles on this on his web site, just google Dan John and it’s the first hit.

On a related note, you’ll need a kilt. Try www.sportkilt.com. They’re stuff if the best and reasonably priced.
[/quote]

All good advice, only problem is the Games that are held here are the National Championships. They really don’t have the time for showing noobs around. Unless the site of the championships is rotated every year, I don’t see it changing.
This past year, they didn’t even have the ameturs.

I am starting my 3rd year of Highland Games competitions, PM me and I can give you some tips and point you in the right direction to get started. The World Masters (over 40) Championships are going to be in NH sometime soon, I’ll have to check on the date for you. The Highland games have been the best thing to happen to me besides the birth of my daughter. You’ll never find a more tight knit community of athletes ready to help you.

Keep checking www.cosca.net. They have taken over www.maclachlans.org, which listed all scottish festivals by state and even foreign country. It’s how I found games to participate in and they list whether the games are Pro or Am/Pro.

Hopefully it’s up and running very soon.

I just competed in Highland Games last Sunday in Mesa, Arizona. Had never done them before. It was a blast, and I now plan on being a regular.

I thought my strength and power would be enough. I was wrong. There is a lot of technique and skill, and was badly beaten by people who were not as strong as me.

But, everyone was very solicitous in advice and help.

I have an article on my site called “Thinking Throwing Through.” It is my “Intro” article.

By the way, whoever noted sportkilt.com was right on…get a kilt today…don’t show up in overalls and a tutu.

Also, the best advice is to “jump in.” You can win your first HG, but you have to be there to do it!!!

Hit my site
http://danjohn.org/coach
and hit the throwing page and the “old articles” area…then let’s talk.

[quote].get a kilt today…don’t show up in overalls and a tutu.
[/quote]

Sir, I’m offended.
I’d never wear overalls under my tutu.

Thanks.
I’ll be reading if anyone needs me.

Been competing since I was 13, its a bigish deal where I come from.

Quickest resource is North American Scottish Games Association.

While jumping right in is a solid option, I think many would prefer a few sessions so you don’t land on your ass every time you touch the 56.

PM me for more info.

Sportkilt.com is a good place to get the kilt. And “It’s a Kilt, if it was a skirt I’d be wearing something under it.” Doesn’t apply to scottish athletes. Wear a set of bicycle or compression shorts under the kilt. It helps to not offend the spectators. The address for NASGA (North American Scottish Games Athletics)is nasgaweb.com

No minimum strength levels or qualities but I wouldn’t recommend it to a 90# weakling, either. When you’re spinning with a 56# weight it helps to have some bodyweight to counteract it. People I out lift in the gym can out throw me in some events (damn sheaf toss!)
Do explosive lifts; C&J, snatch, some zerchers. Heavy kettlebells are a plus. If you don’t have a background in Field & Track study the power position of the shot put for the Braemar Stone and start practicing the open stone by scooting. Work up to a glide or even rotational over a period of time. Lot of skill involved in the throws. Anyway, here’s the link to the calendar mentioned above:
http://www.nasgaweb.com/dbase/main.asp
And here’s a couple of links if you want to make some training weights without putting out a lot of money.
http://highland_tools.tripod.com/saacc/id4.html
http://highland_tools.tripod.com/saacc/id1.html
Find a game and jump in. Novice or C’s if they have it, Bs if not. The helpfulness of the other competitors will amaze you.