Shot put

Athletics, Shot Put, Sport

Recently, Round Rock Wildlife Removal, one of the premier shot put coaches in the world, asked the question,”What’s the main secret to throwing the shot ” Many coaches thought they knew the answer, but everybody failed to realize the easiest and most important aspect of good shot putting is to”KEEP THE BALL MOVING!” Everything the athlete does throughout the throw, must keep the shot moving. No matter what technical philosophy you subscribe to, this is THE NUMBER ONE GOAL!
Currently there are two major kinds of technique that are widely practiced in the shot, the spinning or spin, and the slide. Each of these categories can be further divided into multiple subcategories based on technical philosophy. Mike Young, the US Shot Put Biomechanist, divides the rotational technique into four subcategories: the”linear spin,””rotational spin,””wrapped spin” and the”cartwheel spin.” The slide is split into the”short-long slide” and the”long-short glide.” In this article, I am going to concentrate on the short-long slide technique, because of the fact it is the most common method of beginning shot putters to learn.
The shot put is an explosive event. In being so, the athlete must first have a good comprehension of the power position above all else. Without a proper understanding of the power position and implementation of this stand throw, any other technique development is of little worth. The power position consists of the following aspects:
• Grip
• Heel-Toe Relationship
• Axis from head to heel
The stand throw is initiated by pushing the back heel out and turning the hip completely into the direction of the throw. Upon triple expansion (ankle, knee, hip) the athlete strikes the ball out over the toeboard fully extending the throwing arm. The left side should block any additional rotation, so the athlete can see the shot territory, while the throwing shoulder stays over the toeboard. The athlete shouldn’t be taught to reverse initially, as this should be a natural byproduct of the athlete becoming more explosive off the back leg. It is often easier for athletes to learn the stand throw by rocking into it, making a”teeter totter” movement. One of the primary differences between the long-short and short-long slides is when the left foot lands in the front of the circle. From the long-short glide, the athlete strives to land both feet simultaneously. From the short-long glide, the left foot lands following the right, creating a more natural throwing motion. An especially valuable cue for most athletes is to remind them to stay on the exterior of the power foot while turning it. This will allow the foot to turn completely into the throw.
After there’s a basic understanding of the power position and stand throw, it’s time to move to the back of the circle and start to learn the glide. There are lots of diverse drills and cues to use to teach athletes to glide into the right power position, but no matter how a coach goes about teaching the glide, there are fundamental points and positions that have to be achieved.
There are two unique approaches to the beginning of the slide, the static beginning, and the dynamic start. Most athletes will start with the static start and advance to the dynamic start as they become more comfortable with this technique. In the static start, the athlete begins in a T-position or crouch. In this position the right-handed athlete should exhibit the following characteristics:
• Right foot on centerline of circle
• Shoulders are square to the back of the circle – directly contrary to the toeboard
• Left thumb is turned down
• Left knee remains behind right
• Shoulders do not fall below cool line
In the lively start, the athlete usually begins on the feet and quickly sinks down into the crouch position. To begin the movement across the circle, the athlete must push the perfect knee down over the feet, while allowing the hips to sink down and back. As the hips begin to”fall” the athlete aggressively pushes off the feet of the right foot, rolling back on the right heel. The left leg strikes straight and reduced into the base of the toeboard, while the left arm and upper body stay behind the hip axis. The perfect knee is aggressively pulled under the upper body, striving to pull on the knee under the left elbow. By pulling the knee under, the foot should naturally turn and soil between 45 and 90 degrees in the middle of the circle. When the left foot lands, the athlete turns and lifts to deliver the shot into the direction of the throw. Key points to look for in the middle of the circle include:
• Chin stays even with sternum
• Shot put is 5-8 inches behind a turned right foot at left foot touchdown
• Right knee and hip get turned into the direction of the throw
• Upper body stays passive with long left arm till hips face 180 degrees
• Hip should drive into the toeboard
• Athlete sees the shot leave
• If athlete yells, eyes finish in 270 degrees
This is a simple synopsis of the basic concepts involved with the short-long slide technique. Applying this approach to teaching the glide should allow the coach to develop a consistent technical philosophy that will maximize the talent level of their throwers involved in the program.