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When did highland games quit being a strength spor

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Plow Mule

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    Posted: 12/31/20 at 9:53am
What has happened with the games?  It seems now our sport is no longer a strength sport.  People would work years on developing strength and then come and compete and show their work.  Now people just cruise out and throw?  They can't throw the techniques as they are weak.   It is like I went and took a tennis lesson and decided I should compete, not once, but week after week, over and over.  I am paying my entry fee and deserve to compete dammit.  Can you imagine being at a tennis tournament you came to and paid to get in expecting high level tennis and here comes the guy or gal who took one lesson.  Does anyone want to watch that?  People could come out of the stands and do better.  Same here.  It is embarrassing for people who really have worked at this to see. 

Now I understand loving to throw.  Go throw.  But what we have is the folks love attention, not throwing.  You are not competing.  You have not put the work in to compete and show your stuff.  Go practice and throw.

And lets put these backyard games popping up all over in here also.  Is winning your class with nobody to compete or a couple people really competing to you?  Is that a victory?  Again, it is not about throwing, it is all the attention.  The patch and shirt is everything as I can show I compete. 

Again, I love throwing and understand, but just go throw.  I practice on Saturday, you are welcome to join me.
Mule

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Sammy68123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1/02/21 at 10:57am
You're entitled to your feelings.  To me, however, the competition is always with myself, even if I'm the only one in the class.  My goals and definitions of success revolve around keeping solid technique and not finishing dead last in every event.  We have no control over who shows up to compete that day.

Over the years, I've seen many throwers that were freaky strong and thereby overcome poor technique.  I often wondered how much better they would be if they could layer the technique upon their strength.  Most of those I remember are no longer competing.

Frequently, I've also been at games where such a freaky strong person or a former track/field athlete at their first HG ends up winning the class based on the strength, talent, and experience they brought to the field that day.  These folks benefited greatly from the on-field coaching from the other, more experienced members of their throwing group.  The camaraderie of the sport is often what keeps these folks coming back and keeping up with whatever strength exercise they were already doing.

Just my humble opinion after 14 seasons.

Teresa Merrick
Bellevue, NE

Originally posted by Silverback Silverback wrote:

What has happened with the games?  It seems now our sport is no longer a strength sport.  People would work years on developing strength and then come and compete and show their work.  Now people just cruise out and throw?  They can't throw the techniques as they are weak.   It is like I went and took a tennis lesson and decided I should compete, not once, but week after week, over and over.  I am paying my entry fee and deserve to compete dammit.  Can you imagine being at a tennis tournament you came to and paid to get in expecting high level tennis and here comes the guy or gal who took one lesson.  Does anyone want to watch that?  People could come out of the stands and do better.  Same here.  It is embarrassing for people who really have worked at this to see. 

Now I understand loving to throw.  Go throw.  But what we have is the folks love attention, not throwing.  You are not competing.  You have not put the work in to compete and show your stuff.  Go practice and throw.

And lets put these backyard games popping up all over in here also.  Is winning your class with nobody to compete or a couple people really competing to you?  Is that a victory?  Again, it is not about throwing, it is all the attention.  The patch and shirt is everything as I can show I compete.  

Again, I love throwing and understand, but just go throw.  I practice on Saturday, you are welcome to join me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mcknight77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 1/13/21 at 12:36pm
I just want to know what happened to all the games that use to be put on in Missouri.  Warrensburg, KC, and so on.  I haven't competed in almost 6 years just for the simple fact my wife and I can not find any games.  Is their a Facebook or Instagram page Directors are using rather than this website?  The Highland in the Burg was amazing wish it would come back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Silverback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 2/15/21 at 9:31am
Teresa, I really agree with you.  And those are the folks that should be out doing the games.  I am speaking about people that are not strong, that have not spent the years developing the strength, that are not in the gym grinding.  We have folks just coming out for the experience. 
Mule

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Pogany Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 2/15/21 at 8:52pm
Originally posted by Silverback Silverback wrote:

We have folks just coming out for the experience. 


And for the love of the sport, the culture, and the people .....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote getyoukilt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 4/19/21 at 8:43am
In the rain, covered in mud, with every joint screaming at me. The vendors and audience called it quits and went home. But we still give 100% simply for the pride of knowing we did. 
My technique has managed to keep with me, even when my strength started fading. I may never see another PR, but but I am no poser. I will keep pushing when there is nothing left to push with. 
Those people watching will never know what we put into those throws they see. But we do. 
"     " - Harpo Marx
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TedSchwab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 6/08/21 at 12:43pm
Highland games being open to newbies and those who just want to try their luck and see what happens is actually getting back to the roots of the sport, in my opinion. 

That said, I think there should be some minimum of preparedness, even if it's just to keep people from hurting themselves. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiltChamberlain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 7/02/21 at 10:35am
While I agree that having a strength base is necessary to be able to do what we do well, I disagree that it should be a prerequisite for inclusion. I've encountered plenty of people who have displayed interest in trying this sport, and I know some of them haven't lifted anything over 12oz since they were teenagers.

Gatekeeping will only hurt this sport, and it's been on life support for a while as it is. If nothing else, let them see how difficult it is to do, then show them how much easier it is to do with some strength, then encourage them to get in better physical shape, and see how their number shoot up! Or, if they're soft to the core, they'll remove themselves and it won't be our problem. You never know the potential of someone if they never get a chance to start. That's what novice is for, right?

Can you trig it, Sucka?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frost Boss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 8/16/21 at 1:10pm
Not that my opinion has any weight here as I'm just another thrower-

I certainly agree that this is a sport best suited for strength- some of the best athletes I've seen clearly lift and maintain a great workout regime. On the other hand, as mentioned above, I have witnessed those who are all strength with no prior experience in this who end up throwing very well just because of it. 

Based on the training I have done and learned, it's not JUST strength though. Sure, I can argue that WOB is the best example of an event that high-strength is required for high numbers. I look at events like weight for distance and hammer, and see those reliant on good technique, experience and footwork to maximize one's throwing capabilities. Certainly, a person's strength comes into play, not to mention body type/mass. I may be 6'7" and 350ish pounds, and not find it too difficult to handle a 56lb weight, but I certainly need to improve my technique and work if I want to get closer to the distances some athletes I know who are much smaller than myself are throwing.

IDK, I can definitely understand the desire to maintain the integrity of the sport. I won't get into the semantics of "gatekeeping," I'm a nobody here to discuss that in the context of this, but I came back after 2 years of no practice because I genuinely missed the sport, the people and the overall experience. Last Saturday was the first time I threw in those 2 something years with friends I made back when I first started, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, and god willing, I'll be able to keep at it again. 

My last thought on this is that I would be more worried about this particular perspective on whether or not it's a "strength" sport if the standards changed. If they all of a sudden decided that open men should now be throwing the 42lbs instead of the 56, and masters should go down to something lower and some kind of changes like that occurred across the board, then your concerns would likely be even more validated as it's changing things for perceivably the easier.

I think what should be happening if it's not where you are is to simply encourage those you train with to expand their training if they can or go focus are particular weight training that would benefit their throwing skills. I know I've seen that kind of encouragement around me when training and at games, talking to others competing about what they do. There's definitely ways to approach these kinds of things with people (maybe not absolutely everyone unfortunately) that isn't perceived as rude, crass or the like- It can be a positive thing.

IDK, I can only speak for myself, but the past couple years have been rough for a lot different reasons, I'm sure others can relate, and going back over the weekend made me feel like I was back in pre-2020 times. It was great. Apologies for the long post..
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