THE SHOT

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THE FUNDAMENTALS

The following "basic fundamentals" are the same whether the athlete is doing a standing throw, using the glide technique or using the rotational or spinning style of putting the shot. The learning progression starts at the front of the ring with a simple standing throw and then progresses to the other style(s) after this technique is mastered.

THE GRIP: The shot is help up off of the palm and heel of the hand. It is supported by front edge of the palm on  the first set of finger joints and by the fingers. Either three or four fingers should be behind the shot.

THE LOCATION: The ball should be nestled right up against the neck, under the jaw line and on the shoulder. The elbow is up, fingers are behind it and the thumb is pointed down. The thumb should be in contact with the shirt or body of the thrower.

THE RELEASE: The "put" release is an extension forward by the hand. The hand stays behind the shot, the elbow stays behind the hand and the shoulder stays behind the elbow as the shot is put. The action is more of an "un-hinging" of the elbow rather than a throwing motion, which is a rotation of the shoulder. It is this rotation in the rotator cuff that can cause injuries when using a throwing action with the shot.

THE FLICK: As the shot leaves the hand, a final impulse is added by flicking the hand at release.

THE PULL THROUGH: As the hand moves forward, the left shoulder is pulled back opposite to the direction of the throw, while the arm is being collapsed with the hand brought back to the shoulder.

Gymboss Timers

THE FEET: When standing at the front of the ring in the ready to put position, the feet must be aligned in the heel to toe position. While standing with left side at the front of the ring and the shoulders pointed in the direction of the throw, the feet should be spaced at about shoulder width apart with the COM (center of mass) located above the right or rear foot. The balance should be such that the left foot can be raised from the surface of the ring. When in this position, the heel of the right foot should be aligned with the toe of the left foot. While in this alignment, the athlete should be able to rise on their toes and rotate the body so that it is facing forward. After rotation and without moving the feet other than during the rotation, the body should still be somewhat balanced and stable. If the feet are aligned toe to toe or front heel to rear toe, the body will not be stable after rotation. This foot position and body stability is the key element for either the standing, gliding or rotational (spinning) throw.

THE START: The standing throw starts with the athlete balanced over the rear foot, the shot nestled under the chin and positioned behind the right foot. The left shoulder is above the right foot and the left arm is hanging loosely. The head is up and turned so that it is facing to the right. The head is always up! There should be no bending at the waist. There should be a straight alignment from the head through the back, the left hip and the left leg.

THE ROTATION: From this position, the rotation begins with the right foot, proceeding upward through the knee and to the hips. The head is up and the shoulders are back as the right hip comes through and up. The rotation continues through the trunk to the shoulders as the release action begins. The head turns with the shoulders and remains up. The eyes should be following the right hand through the release action as arm is unhinged and the shot is delivered.

THE GLIDE TECHNIQUE

The movement of the rear foot is a "glide" forward across the ring by the rear foot and not a hopping or jumping action. The rear foot does not lose contact with the surface of the ring. The only reason to use other than the standing throw technique is to increase the speed of the shot as it leaves the hand. Therefore, if there is any pause or stop in the movement of the upper-body, throwing shoulder and arm during the process, all benefit of using the glide is lost. The motion/action must be continuous. Remember, it is the continuous horizontal displacement of the shot across the ring that is important.

BEGINNING: Start the learning process by doing technique drills on the concrete or asphalt without the shot. The body is aligned so that the thrower is facing the rear of the ring with the COM over the rear foot with the head slightly in the down position. The rear foot is pointed to the rear of the ring. The forward motion is started by leading with the hips. The left (front) leg is moved forward while the right (rear) remains in place. The extension is such that the right leg becomes straight with no bend at the knee while the foot remains pointed to the rear of the ring. When this full extension is reached, the right foot is then pulled forward to a position so that the shot is now behind the foot. As the foot glides across the ring with the heel in slight contact with the surface, the foot is turned 90 degrees so that it now points to the side of the ring. At this point, the body position should be as described in "THE START" above, making certain that the head is now up. By maintaining a continuous motion across the ring, the body, including the shot, has some forward speed/momentum and the delivery is immediately initiated.

SOME DRILLS FOR THE GLIDE


 

A "BEGINNERS PRIMER" FOR ROTATING/SPINNING

Development of a modified standing put in which the athlete takes a narrow delivery position with the back turned to the direction of delivery.

Learning the rotational backward stride technique, followed by the imitation of the part elements, without using the shot, in a one-turn action.

Transferring the established performance elements into the total (I 1/2-turn) movement with light implements.

Perfection of the individually established rotational technique, still predominantly with light implements. It is at this stage that the development of specific strength capacities begins, with emphasis on a high level of strength in the hand, wrist and elbow of the delivery arm to adapt to the intense forces acting in the final delivery.


ROTATING/SPINNING

The grip: This is slightly different from that used with the linear technique because the shot is held further back with the palm a lot more under the implement.

The start: Begin from a stationary position. Do not use any partial swings as is so often seen when discus throwers start their spin.

Initial action: A major error is to over-rotate from the back of the circle. The athlete must stop the left side on entry into the turn and let power direct him across the circle.

Right leg action: A "whip" of the right leg is used to generate power. The right leg makes a low circular motion at the back of the circle. Avoid using too much right leg swing.

Keep moving: A major error occurs when the right foot lands in the center of the circle and stops. Continuity is lost; keep the right foot turning.

The "throw" stance: The base of the spinner is much smaller than that of the glider, since it depends on lifting the shot rather than moving the shot horizontally. The feet must be "in line" with the direction of the throw.

The throw: The final action is where the convert to the spin technique must drastically change the whole concept. In using the glide, the athlete attempts to accelerate the shot by pushing his hips through horizontally and shifting his weight over the front leg. In the rotational technique, the athlete concentrates on lifting the shot vertically, having created a lot of horizontal force from the turn into the center of the circle. The hand should be kept back and the athlete must stay over the rear leg as long as possible during the action.

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