The Limestone Elementary School Athletics Association is the committee responsible for the inter-school sports programs in the Limestone District School Board. This page is intended to make available to all elementary schools in the Limestone District information pertaining to all inter-school sports in the district. For more information on the organization and structure of LESAA please refer to the LESAA constitution. Meet and tournament information, rules and regulations regarding the various events, dates for events, news updates, district tournaments (divisions, dates, locations, conveners, results), as well as any other pertinent information for all sports will be available through this page.

                                     

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SHOT PUT TEACHING PROGRESSIONS

By: Melody Torcolacci, BPHE/BA, MA, Head Coach, Queen’s University Track and Field

 Introduction:  Rhythm, speed and power dominate over brute strength and size

 Definitions: assuming a right handed thrower

bullet Power leg = right leg                              Block leg = left leg                                 Free arm = left arm

 WARM-UP

bullet A thrower should warm-up much the same as a sprinter or jumper would; thus, there’s no reason why you can’t have a TEAM warm-up and then branch off into event specifics.
bullet Continuous athletic movement in warm-up and more beneficial to improving any athlete’s athleticism than the traditional jog a couple of laps and stretch

 TEACHING PROGRESSIONS 

bullet It is best to observe the athlete from either a position parallel to the line of their throw or from a position directly behind the athlete

 THE STANDING THROW

GRIP:  The shot sits on the base of the fingers

bullet Fingers should be together behind the shot, with thumb there for support
bullet Shot is placed in under the chin on the neck by the ear
bullet Elbow is relaxed, but pointing way from the body; behind the shot
bullet Think:  dirty fingers, clean palm, dirty neck

 

STANDING SHOT PUSHES

bullet Stand feet parallel, shoulder width apart, knees bent
bullet Turn right shoulder so shot is behind the right hip and the abdominal muscles are on stretch; the weight should be mostly on the right side as left foot heel is up off the ground
bullet Shot is held against neck
bullet Free arm is up and pointing in the direction of the throw with the elbow slightly bent

Ø          Holding an imaginary “steel post” just in front of the circle

Ø          Want to “pull” entire body up and forward to meet this “post”

 

bullet Initiate throwing action with the left heel grounding, legs extending and weight transfer to block (left) side, the abdominal muscles contracting, shoulders turning, free arm blocking, then pushing the shot away


 

 

 

Observational Keys:

bullet Watch for the correct sequence of actions

Ø       Bottom è up 

·         Watch that the body weight is transferred to block side              

Ø       Weight transfer is key to all throwing 

bullet Watch that the athlete finishes tall, fully extended and square to the direction of the throw                     

Ø       Straight and strong and balanced

 LAY BACK SHOT PUSHES

bullet Start in same position as above
bullet Step the power leg (right) back, keeping it in-line with the throw
bullet Power leg knee is bent
bullet Shift almost all the body weight back over the power leg
bullet Block leg knee should be slightly bent with heel off the ground
bullet To initiate throw, ground block leg heel, push off drive leg and block free arm

Ø       These actions occur almost simultaneously

bullet Be sure block leg bends and then straightens and does not prematurely straighten

Ø       Want to move into then up and over the block leg

Ø       Sit (as if riding a horse) then lift 

bulletWant to feel not only pushing forward, but pulling forward as well
bullet Once straight and strong over block leg, shot is pushed away

 

 

Observational Keys:

bullet Watch for the correct sequence of actions; Bottom è up
bullet Watch that LT leg heel grounds
bullet Watch that LT leg is initially “soft” (stays bent)
bullet Finish straight and strong; fully extended up on block leg toe
bullet Balanced; weight solidly over block leg at finish
bullet Block LT arm; LT shoulder should finish slightly lower than RT shoulder (LT shoulder low; RT shoulder high)
bullet At delivery both RT shoulder and elbow are high
bullet Watch that elbow stays up and behind shot; if elbow drops a weak push results and “finger breaker/splitter” often occurs
bullet Watch that the head follows the shot and tilts slightly back at delivery

Ø       Pulling the head off the shot early is a common problem and causes a weak delivery

Ø       Ducking the head is another common problem that produces a weak delivery and promotes piking (a downward and backward shift) of the hips (lowering height of release)

SIDEWAYS SHOT PUSHES

bullet Athlete is facing perpendicular to the direction of the throw
bullet Stance is slightly wider than shoulder width
bullet Watch foot alignment; left foot in line with right foot instep

 

Ø       Watch for “blocking off”; LT foot in front of RT foot

§         Does not allow hips to square up; can’t finish the throw

 

 

 

 

Ø       Watch for too open a stance; LT foot in the “bucket”

§         Results in a weak block and promotes “coming around” 

bullet Weight back over a bent RT leg; shoulders leaned back, but not turned; shot is aligned for straight line delivery
bullet LT arm up and pointing in direction of throw; elbow slightly bent
bullet Non-throwing side should form a straight line from shoulders to foot
bullet Head is looking back; eyes on shot
bullet Elbow is up and away from the body
bullet To initiate throw, almost simultaneously ground LT leg heel, block LT arm, push off RT leg, moving into and up over the LT leg

Ø       Shot is lifted up and over the LT leg

 STANDING (POWER POSITION) THROWS

bullet Same position as above except the shoulders are now turned so they are square and parallel to the back of the circle

 

 

 

 

Standing or Power Position Throw Sequence.  The 4th picture (from left to right) in this sequence highlights the "sit" position.

Text Box: Standing or Power Position Throw Sequence.  The 4th picture (from left to right) in this sequence highlights the "sit" position.

 

 

 

 

bullet Keep the head back; eyes on shot; or watching some other focal point
bullet Keep the shot back as long as possible; Shot always stays behind the right hip

Observation Keys:

bullet Shot is lifted up, over and out
bullet To keep the shot in a straight line “sit”; the sitting action is where the hips move under and shoulders move back.
bullet Initiate the lifting action with RT hip and RT shoulder; want a long right side; short left side
bullet “Coming around” (RT shoulder getting in front or forward of RT hip); this is a weak position
bullet The drill helps to teach the “lifting action” while “staying back” on the power or drive leg.

 STICK DRILL STANDING THROWS

bullet Place a stick on the shoulders with more of it to the RT side; practice the lift and drive up over LT leg
bullet Stick gives instant feedback on shoulder alignment – want RT side long and tall, LT side shortened; RT side shoulder higher than LT side shoulder.

 SHUFFLE STEP and THROW

OPEN SHUFFLE

bullet Start standing sideways (perpendicular to front of circle) at the back of the circle
bullet Body weight is back over a bent RT leg
bullet The non-throwing side forms a straight line
bullet Free arm is up and pointing in the direction of the throw
bullet Shot is against the neck, with elbow pointing away from the body (up and behind shot)
bullet Head is focused back; eyes on shot or another focal point
bullet With no upper body movement, shuffle across the circle to land in the center in a standing throw/power position before initiating the throw
bullet Shuffle is initiated with a short step with the LT leg, followed by a long “skip” and pull under with the RT leg

Ø       Actively pull RT leg underneath the hips

bullet Want a quick grounding of the LT leg; RT and LT leg land almost at the same time with RT slightly before LT

 Observational Keys:

bullet Throwing shoulder and shot do not move
bullet Head stays focused back
bullet Keep movement linear; no up and down movement; move belly-button across the circle parallel to the ground
bullet Shuffle with the RT and LT legs staying in line or have the RT leg cross in front of LT leg
bullet RT leg under and weight back over it when land in the middle
bullet Block leg grounds quickly and in line with the RT foot instep; watch for LT leg swinging open = in the bucket

Ø       Watch for landing blocked off

 CLOSED SHUFFLE

bullet Same starting position as above except shoulders now turned square to back of circle
bullet LT arm is either loosely hanging down or pointing backwards
bullet Movement initiation same as above

 Observational Keys:

bullet Shoulders stay square and parallel to back of circle during the initial movement into the center of the circle
bullet As move off the back of the circle try to “leave the shoulders at the back of the circle”

Ø       A common mistake is to pull with the shoulders causing the middle landing position to be too upright and the weight shifted prematurely forward to the block/LT leg

Ø       Conceptually you want to move away from the shoulders

Ø       Once you reach the center of the circle, the RT leg should take all the weight and be under the hips(“right leg under”)

Ø       The LT leg is reached quickly straight back towards the toe board

Ø       Once the shuffle is completed the thrower should be in a perfect standing/power position and the delivery of the throw can be initiated

Ø       Watch that there is no up and down movement; you want to move the small of the back or belly button linearly across the circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSED SHUFFLE WITH A STICK ACROSS THE SHOULDERS

bullet Helps thrower keep shoulders square and parallel
bullet Also helps the thrower to learn to “leave their shoulders” in the back half of the circle

SHUFFLE WITH BLOCK/LT ARM HELD/RESISTED

bullet The coach can hold the LT arm as the athlete moves across the circle to give them the feel for leaving their shoulders (can also quickly tell if the athlete is “pulling with the back”)
bullet Have the athlete gradually speed up the action so there is less hesitation in the middle of the circle

Ø       It is critical to limit how many drills you have the athlete “stop in the middle” as it teaches the wrong thing – always want smooth continuous movement – the stop is simply to check positions

bullet Focus on smooth continuous acceleration of the shot

MULTIPLE SHUFFLE STEPS

bullet Helps the athlete to get their RT leg underneath them
bullet Do consecutive shuffles; if the athlete is not actively pulling the RT leg under, it will be difficult to do another shuffle

 SMASH THE GLASS

bullet Try and get the RT leg hip as high and turned into the throw as possible by trying to smash an invisible pane of glass at the front of the toe board
bullet It is important that while RT leg side finish is being accentuated, that a solid block is always maintained

Ø       If “push and pull”f pushing with RT leg but pulling off the front of the circle with the LT leg then power is lost with the pull-off

Ø       If “push and mush”; if pushing with the RT leg but the LT leg is bent then power is absorbed and lost

 

 

 

 

Ø       If “push and pike” ; if pushing with the power leg but the block side is piking (hips dropping back and down) then not only is power absorbed and lost but height of release is lowered.

POSTING

bullet Have athlete place their LT foot beside a post, initiate a throw with the LT arm grabbing the post finishing straight and tall and in line with the post
bullet Can also do posting against a padded wall.  The athlete feels the LT leg give into the wall then straightens up, finishing tall and flush against the wall
bullet While you want a stiff straight LT leg it cannot straighten and stiffen too soon.

Ø      

An example of the block leg straightening too soon, causing shot to be released behind the toe board instead of well out over the toe board.

Text Box: An example of the block leg straightening too soon, causing shot to be released behind the toe board instead of well out over the toe board.
When the LT leg stiffens too soon it limits the drive out over the circle cutting the push on the shot shorter which ultimately will affects distance achieved on the throw

 

 

 

Ø       Concept is “sit into and then extend up on to the LT leg”

 

 

 

bullet

This sequence demonstrates the idea of "sitting" into and then up on to the block leg” achieving full extension at delivery so the shot is released well in front of the toe board.

Text Box: This sequence demonstrates the idea of "sitting" into and then up on to the block leg” achieving full extension at delivery so the shot is released well in front of the toe board.
Both these drills while helping with the block will also help with promoting a taller finish as they stress pushing the hips up tall and forward

Ø       Piking the hips back and down on delivery is another common technical fault as addressed above in the “push and pike”

bullet Stress “long and tall RT side” and “short LT side”

Ø       Want to feel long and tall; stretch  the RT side, finishing with a high RT shoulder

Ø       The block side is still tall but contracted; the block side shoulder finishes below the power side shoulder

 NOTE: it is impossible to have a solid block without the LT leg heel grounding prior to the throw being initiated

 FAULTING IS USUALLY A RESULT OF

  1. A Soft Block
    bullet Results from a lack of full extension of LT leg
    bullet Results from a lack of solid posting with upper body
    bullet All linear momentum is not stopped so the thrower gets too forward and falls out of the circle
  1. Improper Mechanics

·         The sequence of initiation is off; the shoulders get ahead of the hips.  If the shoulders lead the throw it will be next to impossible to stay in the circle

·         Want to keep the shot behind the hip as long as possible 

  1. Watching The Throw

·         If watch the throw the centre of mass gets shifted too far forward making it difficult to stay in the circle

·         Lower means more stable 

  1. Not Turning The RT Leg Side Completely To The Throw

RESOURCES

 
  1. Web sites:

http://macthrowvideo.com/Download.html5.html

·         This web site has oodles of throwing videos (all events) from high school to international class… watching others throw and getting a feel for throwing is very important.

·         There are also articles from some of the very best throwers/coaches in the world 

http://www.throwers.org/

·            It’s free and you can ask questions and get responses from throwers from all over the world 

http://www.geocities.com/colosseum/8682/shot.htm

·            Articles, pictures, video… everything a throwing enthusiast would want 

http://www.canthrow.com/

·            Articles, rankings, merchandise and best of all it’s CANADIAN!! 

http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/

·            While an equipment site it also has a “training zone” which has various articles

·            They also sell books and videos on every event 

  1. Carr, Gerry A. (1991).  Fundamentals of Track and Field.  Vancouver, B.C.:  Human Kinetics Publishers

·            There is a more current edition… you can get it from everythingtrackandfield.com

  1. Dunn, G. and McGill K (1991).  The Throws Manual.  Mountain View California:  TAFNEWS Press.

·            There is a more current edition… you can get it from everythingtrackandfield.com

Send mail to hallj@limestone.on.ca with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: March 29, 2010