Letters &

Mr. Powell, just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that my daughter Kloee has just qualified for the Indiana State Finals as a Freshman. She won Regionals with a throw of 140' 08". This is 10th in the State of Indiana and only 6 feet from being on the Top 25 ALL TIME LIST EVER in Indiana. She also is 10th in the state in Shot Put with a 40'11" throw this year.

All of this is done as a Freshman. I just want you to know that she has attended your camp for 2 years and I believe this has given her the confidence to hit every goal that she has set for herself this year. She will be attending again this year and I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!!


I've been using Discus I to train the throwers I coach at Grace Christian High School here in Anchorage, Alaska. The four step process, drills, and tips such as keeping a notebook and striving for inches has helped to reinforce the teaching I've been doing. The kids are consistently improving PRs and having fun with the discus.

I wanted to show them the Big O in action with the shot also. I appreciate the DVD format, it'll make things much easier to freeze frame. I'm looking forward to having weight training and throwing clinics with the kids so the expanded video and shot techniques will be a great addition to the program. Track has been a backwater sport at the school for some time but your video has helped me make them proficient and successful. Thanks.

—Marc C.


I wanted to tell John what a joy and inspiration it was to watch his throws and learn from his instruction. I am 30 now and my competitive discus days are far behind me but every now and then I pull out his training video that I watched back in high school (1987-1991) until it almost snapped and continue to be amazed at his ring technique, speed, etc. and how incredible his throws look.

My father got me into throwing back in 1987 and Mr. Powell was always one of his favorites. Believe it or not John was my favorite discus thrower and Brian Oldfield was my favorite shot thrower. I was actually the first spinner in NC competition—at least that's what everyone told me and it was all inspired by Mr. Oldfield. Again my father had heavy influence with that because he showed me the 1975 Sports Illustrated cover that Brian was on and I remember reading that thing over and over with all the wild stories about him wrestling a bear and then the picture of him holding the girl up with only one of his arms.

He seemed larger than life to me and I eventually got "Shot putting with the Big O" (I think that was the title) and loved it too. Both John and Brian were a huge inspiration to me in my throwing career. With John's help I became a top 10 state ranked discus thrower and I wanted to thank him. Seeing this camp just blew me away when I stumbled across it doing a google search! I would've given anything to have know about it 15 years ago when I was throwing. It would have been like going to Mecca for me, seeing my 2 favorite throwers and learning from them directly, in the flesh... 

I have 2 children now who are eager to learn about the discus and I know just where I'll send them both if your camp is still open when they're ready.

—Monte A.

First of all, let me thank you for all your insight and all the knowledge that you have shared with me over the past two summers at camp. You may or may not remember me as the young sophomore from Cumberland Valley High School who improved his PR 81' last season.

This season I have improved yet another 22' feet setting a new PR of 174'6. Along with the discus and shot put I've recently been researching and attempting to throw the hammer. Because I'm just beginning to get the feel and don't have a hammer coach I was hoping that maybe I could show up to camp a day early and try to work with Greg, Mickey, and/or Youri. If at all possible I'd appreciate it a bunch and look forward to another exhausting array of workouts throughout the week.


Thank you for exchanging the dvd and for sending along both new copies. I found the information very helpful and I added on twenty feet to my personal best this year, I went from 112 to 132 with a 1.6 kilo disc and still improving. Currently I am a sophomore in high school and I am looking forward to two more years of improved throwing. I was wondering if you had any information on rim weight in general and high spin or low spin discs. I might be purchasing my own disc in the future and I am looking for information so that I can get a disc that fits me well. 

—Logan H.



Hey John, just wanted to tell ya thanks for all the help you gave me. Regrettably, I didn’t qualify for the state meet yesterday... I guess it was a combination of a lot of stuff, mostly a poor wind, and a tough sectional... and I scratched a 150 footer on my last throw... on the positive side, I ended up throwing a two foot PR in shot and also nearly qualifying there.

Best of all, the improvement I have made has helped me get a combined academic and athletic full tuition/room and board scholarship to throw shot, disc, and hammer at McKendree College, a NAIA school not far from here. They have a good left-handed throwing coach down there that can hopefully work with me and help me out a lot.

Anyway, in closing, I just wanted to tell you and Brian thanks a lot for all you did to help me. Hope to see you again someday.

—Stephen G.



Just a note to thank you for the excellent dvd on the discus. I was a thrower in college 30 years ago, now I am competing in the masters 50 discus and javelin. I have forgotten several important points over the years. The dvd has helped. After studying the dvd, I improved my distance by almost 20 feet, just in one workout. I have qualified for the senior national games next year in Pittsburgh, and hope to keep improving.

—Bill L.


Just wanted to give you an update on Jessica's season. Shortly after your e-mail a few weeks ago Jess tore a tendon in her shoulder. She was unable to throw shot at all and discus only last week. (Jess saw herself as a shot putter first and discus a distant second) Last week, hungry to be back throwing she said, "If what I can throw is disc I'm going to throw the heck out of it." The two weeks earlier were not wasted even though she couldn't throw and her coach thought she should just hang out and watch the other girls. She made herself a list of drills from your camp with an empty pud and worked her feet and X, nickerson's etc.

Last Thursday she was cleared for discus at full strength and Friday had her first competition of the outdoor season. Last season her discus PR was 83. Friday she won the meet with 111' 3" -- a foot and a half short of our small school's record and 6' 3" from state qualifying.

She said before she left for school this morning, "Dad when you get on the computer this morning make sure and send Mr. Powell a thank you from me today."


Also Jess was really touched by your quick response with the hula hoop drill -- she can't wait to be cleared for the shot hopefully later this week. I'll send you a picture of her with hoop as you suggested as soon as she is back at it.

We'll see you for sure at the Orlando camp and are trying to get an Ohio one worked into the summer.

And from a Dad—thanks for your interest in my daughter and for packing so much into your camp—it has helped both inside and outside the ring—Jess went into your camp enjoying throwing, she came out a thrower -- Now in her sophomore year she really wants to throw in college and has become a real athlete. Cool stuff.

—Mike W.


I just wanted to write and thank you for everything you did for Nick at camp last summer. He is improving by at least 6 feet every track meet. WOW! He is now throwing an average of 128' instead of an average of 109'. Not bad for a sophomore. His confidence level is awesome. He learned so much at camp. I am not sure if he will attend again this year as money is very tight. I am hoping to put something together and will let you know.

Hi shot put also went from an average of 31' to 39'. I am so proud of him. You are a wonderful teacher and thanks again!

—Maria K.

Hello Mr. Powell, I hope things are going well for you. I live just outside of Granville—my son Clay and one of my high school throwers Frank came to your camp last year, and I wanted to give you an update on their progress. We are just a little over half-way through our season and Clay has won every shot and discus event this year in which he has competed in. He has set several meet records along the way. By using your concepts and teaching, our throwing team for our middle school has won every throwing meet overwhelmingly.

Also Frank, who is a senior this year, is up about 30 feet year to year in the discus and has won several invitational. My older son Nate who did not get to attend your camp, but has used your program has increased his shot and discus dramatically. In fact our entire team has benefited. Both our girls and boys recently set new meet records in a relay event in both the shot and discus respectively. Since our throwers are performing well, and scoring many points, it has helped our team win several invitational this season.

I just registered Clay for the second week of your camp this year and he is looking forward to attending again. I have given information about your camp to several other throwers and parents and hopefully they will attend


These women threw far!

These women threw far!

State Champ!

State Champ!