Questions for Stephen Mozia

I was interested to hear why Mozia’s throws have now been consistently far, along with some other questions… ENJOY!

‘What was the biggest change that happened that allowed you to surpass your HS PR so quickly with the 16lb shot in college. 

There was probably two main factors. The first was coaching and mentorship. My throws coach at Cornell definitely has an amazing understanding of how the throw supposed to be executed. That in conjunction with being able to watch the captain of the throws my freshman year, Bob Beldon, train and throw made it sort of the perfect environment to learn how to be a great thrower. Also, Cornell’s previous head coach, Nathan Taylor, mentally of really the best out of us pushed me as well.

I would also say that a huge part was my brother who also went to Cornell passing away in November my freshman year unexpectedly. Really changes your mentality about life. You realize that you shouldn’t waste any day cause everyday could truly be your last. So it did put a huge boost on my work ethic and sense of urgency to follow my dreams and work hard to accomplish them.

Now you had competitions where you would throw a 20+ bomb but the very next meet you would be 5+ feet less. Was this due to course load interfering with training? Was it due to your strength program? Was it it just a technical inconsistency?

I’d say it was a combination of many things. Course load was just awful. I truly think those will be the hardest four years of my life. I would never do it again haha but definitely the best decision of my life. I wouldn’t wish Cornell engineering on any person though. I had to miss practices and lifts all the time cause of school so I just have to give it up to Coach Johnson for getting me to throw as far as I did under the circumstances. So I definitely say I probably needed to be bigger, stronger, more sleep, and drill work but there really wasn’t time most years.

I also say I throw mostly with speed. While speed looks cool, is fun, and have massive throw potential, it can cause inconsistency. I feel like a lot of this year I purposely have been tapering down the speed to gain more consistency but as the year progress I have been able to add more and more.

Recently I have noticed that your start at the back of the circle is a bit more dynamic. Would this be a key factor to your recent big throws?

I’d say the biggest key is less stress, more sleep, and way more reps. Also, the weight gain helped. I would also say I am not more dynamic with the right, I am just better with my left side. The more patient I am with my right the more I work using my legs with my upper body. I also say I’m not attacking the drive as hard as I used to. I am  setting up the drive for a huge wrap in the middle.

How much has coach Newell influenced your recent development? 

Coach Newell has been awesome. Truthfully, Tavis and him help me out tremendously. Its just so much throwing knowledge in one small group. I’d say my spin and philosophies on throwing aren’t very traditional so its interesting to always hear his perspective on what I should be working on and how throws look.

I have many athletes That want big arms. I only allow them to isolate the arms during the summer/fall months. Your arms are jacked. Do you isolate your arms? If so, is it for keeping the joint stable during your compound movements?

I say a lot of my arms being big had to do with a summer where I did 100 push ups a day because my bench was so weak. I mean this was around my sophomore year summer to junior year and my max bench was only about 185. My triceps just kind of got huge and stayed that way ever since. I also feel like I just eat well and am pretty cut for a thrower so it makes my arms look stronger then they probably actually are haha.

Do you Olympic lift? If so do you feel it is better than deadlifting?

I do Olympic lifts. Mainly snatches but I also  do cleans without a catch because I am terrible at catching cleans. I actually never deadlift. One of my teammates was deadlifting at Cornell and popped a disc so my coach just basically eliminated them from everyone’s workout. I do feel like Olympic lifting is better but anything where waiting is on the bar and your exploding through it is a great lift to me.

What are your maxes?

  • Deadlift
  • Snatch
  • Clean
  • Back Squat
  • Front squat
  • Bench
  • Vertical
  • Standing long

I would love to tell you but I think the last time I really maxed was my junior year of college. Now I just realized that building up to max lifts are just useless weeks of the cycle. I’m not trying to be the strongest lifter, I am trying to be the best thrower and as long as I feel stronger that is all that matters. I just feel like throwers rely on max lift numbers because its an easy concrete way to see that you’re getting “better” but all that really matters is how far the implements going.

In college you were jacked and lean. You now look thicker with an increase in body fat %., Which is a good thing in this sport, what contributed to the weight gain? 

Not being stressed. I tend to lose weight when I am stressed. I also say the Bella, my pressure cooker definitely assisted the weight gain. Tavis essentially convinced me to get one because he truly believes in the bulk. I mean he’d loved to see me at 350 lbs. Being able to cook pounds of meet in like 10 minutes and making it tender will change your life.

I’m not going to ask you what will you throw in Rio, but I will ask what do you think will make the top 12 cut and then the final 8 cut for the Men’s Shot Put?

I definitely believe this is one of the deepest shot fields in the history of throws. I mean 30+ people throwing above the previous Olympic A standard is ridiculous and I believe a lot of them are great competitors. So I believe that 20.40-20.50 make top 12. And then I think probably 20.80 makes top 12.

Are you scared of the Zika?

Not really. I feel like there are much more dangerous sicknesses to worry about then a common cold and I am not planning on having a kid anytime soon. Plus it is winter over there so there is no where close to as many mosquitoes as when the spreading was bad earlier in the year when it was Brazil’s summer.

A question for the ladies… Are you single and ready to mingle? 

Hahaha. Yea. No one is in the picture as of right now. I’ll be interested to see where life takes me.

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