The Throw-in Coach

I’ve achieved my goals in life through making important decisions. And I intend to keep doing that.
Down through the years, the relationship I’ve had to the people around me has been a key factor in my success. Everything is possible! – with the right approach and a good team.
 

This is my story:
 

Football
 

I started playing football at the age of 5, and right from the start I loved it. As a child I played for a little working class football club: Horsens Freja. It’s still a fantastic club that provides employment to many warm-hearted people.
In time, I found that my talent could take me further, and while I was still a young man I moved on to the biggest local football club Horsens FS – now AC Horsens. I spent many enjoyable years at the club and my sporting high point was my time in the Danish national junior sides.
After playing a couple of seasons as a senior professional I arrived at the conclusion that my technique simply wasn’t good enough to allow me to play at the highest level. On the other hand, my speed and my skills at throw-ins were something that really gave the crowd something to cheer.
So, in the mid-90’s I made a decision that was to have a determining influence on my future.
 

Athletics
 

At the end of 1996 and at the age of 20 I started athletics training. I knew that I was quick on the football pitch, but could I bring that success to the athletics track?
At one of my first meets, in Esbjerg in 1997, I beat one of the national team candidates over 200 meters, and that encouraged me in my belief that this was something where I could really compete. That same year, I was selected to represent Denmark in the 4 x 100 meter relay, and from 1997 till 2002 I was a member of the national Danish athletics team. I competed at 100 metres – 200 metres – 400 metres – 4 x 100 metres and 4 x 400 metres.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a sprinter, both the sporting success and the travel which took me throughout Europe. In 2000, and together with my 3 teammates from Aarhus 1900, Anders, Kim and Klaus, I won the European Championships in 4 x 400 meter for club teams in Paris. An event which made a great impression on me, and has been important to me throughout my life.
In 2002, I made a fantastic start to the season and set new personal bests at both 100 and 200 metres, but something didn’t feel right. At that time I trained alone, and I have always felt that the most exciting thing was to create something big together as a team. So I decided to change sport and compete in a discipline where you had to work VERY closely together.
 

Bobsleigh
 

In the summer of 2002 I joined the Danish bobsleigh team. I’ve ALWAYS been terrified of slides, so it was with some trepidation that I looked forward to the first real bobsleigh run in October 2002.
When I finally tried it was far wilder than I had expected. But it didn’t make me nauseous, so now I was a real bobsleigh racer. Bobsleigh is an incredible sport where competitors can reach top speeds of between 130 and 150 km/h, and if something happens on the way down the track then the consequences can be very serious.
Our goal in the Danish bobsleigh team was to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Toronto in 2006. The four year journey to achieving that goal turned out to be one that involved serious injury, fire, death and destruction. Our motto was ”Everything is possible,” and, seen in light of the extreme problems we overcame, I think we lived up to that motto for those four years.
When I hold my presentations, people want to hear about how we managed to work together and keep our morale high even though we were under such extreme pressure.
I’ve acted as a bobsleigh expert for Eurosport and TV2’s Go´morgen Danmark. During the Winter Olympics in 2010, I also worked as commentator for Danish public service broadcaster Danmarks Radio. So if you want to know anything about bobsleighing just send me your query.
 

Throw-ins
 

In 2004, whilst training as a bobsleigh racer, I had an idea: ”If I can throw a football a long way, can’t I teach others to do the same?”
I checked the Internet, and to my surprise found no websites or literature related to throw-in training. Within six months I’d prepared a throw-in course and contacted Danish Superliga club Viborg FF and Manager Ove Christensen. He said yes, and after brief training we markedly improved the throw-in abilities of five selected players.
 

Yes – it worked!
 

That year Viborg FF achieved their best ever Superliga finish: fifth place. Even though I only had a very small part to play in that success I felt proud every time they scored from a long throw-in.
I’ve now provided throw-in training to over 500 professional, amateur and youth-team players, including players from FC Midtjylland, Silkeborg and Randers FC in the Danish Superliga. I’ve also provided throw-in training under some peculiar circumstances. I’ve trained German youth players abroad and prisoners in a prison in eastern Jutland.
My ambition is to provide throw-in training to clubs in the major European leagues. To train Premier League or Bundesliga players is something I really want to do – and one day I will.
 

World record throw-in
 

In 2008 I thought, wouldn’t it be great to hold the world throw-in record? That would look good on my CV. The official Guinness World Record™ was 48.17 metres, and at that time I could get the ball about 44 metres with a standard throw-in.
On the Internet I saw footage of a man doing a handspring throw-in. That was something I had to try – the only problem was, I couldn’t do a sommersault!
After about 2½ years’ training, some alternative equipment and several record attempts, including during the match at Denmark’s national stadium Parken between Denmark and Spain, and a match between Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, I finally managed to beat the record on 18 June 2010. My official Guinness World Record™ throw was 51.33 metres (see it here).
In connection with my record attempts I’ve raised about 100,000 DKK for diabetes research fund JDRF.
 

“We have witnessed time and time again how much our players improve after just a few short sessions with Thomas. Our throw-ins are a dangerous weapon. We have a handful of players who can throw the ball 30 meters rather than just the one—and we have seen how our stats improve as our throw-in distances extend.

Altogether, being associated with Thomas is nothing short of a gift. There is no disputing that our long throw-ins are a major asset for us. If you want your team to benefit from the extraordinary weapon of a long throw-in, Thomas is your guy.”
 
Kristian Bach Bak – FC Midtjylland Assistant Coach

Professional Football Throw-in Coaching

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At Throw-in TV you can see videos of my world record throw-in, bobsleigh runs and presentations.

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Thomas Grønnemark

Professional Throw-in Coach

Throw-in     -     Thomas Grønnemark     -     Tlf: +45 61 99 29 14     -     info@throwin.dk

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Two of my clubs FC Midtjylland and AC Horsens have scored 20 goals from the Long Throw-in in the 2018-19 season.