HTS --> Shot Put

NOTE: This is written for a right handed thrower. Lefties should reverse left and right.

Written by: Doug Medernach, UofS / STFC Throws Coach
Reviewed by:
Last edited Feb.27, 2002.

Competition Rules and Regulations"
-> the shot put circle has a diameter of 2.13m
-> the sector is 40deg. - create a triangle with 2-10m sides and a 6.84m base, with the apex at the centre of the circle
weight of implements: 6lb - pee wee and bantam girls and boys
4k - midget men, midget women and up
5kg - juvenille men, 6kg - junior men, 16lbs - senior men
SASK. HIGH SCHOOL: Women - 4kg, midget men - 4kg, Junior/Senior guys - 12lb.
-> the thrower may enter the circle from anywhere, and once the throw has landed, must exit from the back half of the circle under control
-> the throw must start from a stationary position with the shot put touching the neck
-> the throw must land within the sector
-> the thrower has one minute to complete the throw
-> the thrower may touch the inside of the ring or toeboard, but not on top

1) "Grip"
It is important to grip the shot properly. The shot put should rest on the knuckles that seperate the palm/fingers and the fingers. The fingers should be kept close together to maximize the application of force to the shot. Do not let the shot come off of the palm.

2) "Flips"
The purpose of this drill is to focus on keeping the elbow up and getting the proper release of the shot from the hand. Grip the shot and hold it (elbow up) just to the side of the head. Take a step forward with the left (right) leg and push the shot at a ~45 degree angle remembering to keep the elbow up and flick the wrist out to release the shot put.
Note: Make sure the hand is pointing to 45 as well, otherwise the shot will roll off the thumb.

3) Step Back Stand Throw
Stand 90 deg. from the direction of the throw, with the shot put touching your neck and your non-throwing or block arm up. Step back with the power leg (right for right handed throwers) so that your feet are slightly more than shoulder width apart and that your back heel (or instep) aligns with your front toe. While stepping back, your back power) leg bends and the front (block) leg remains straight.
NOTE: to get lower bend the leg more, never bend at the waist to get lower. STRAIGHT AND STRONG!
As you are stepping and bending, twist the trunk so that your head and shoulders are facing about 150 deg. from the direction of the throw.
Next, you move the clear arm up and over the top so that it is facing the direction of the throw (keep the clear arm long - more power). This opens up the chest. Then you push up with the power leg. Pushing up with the legs is the key, not coming around with the hips. You will get enough rotation without intentionally adding any more. This should leave you with your chest pointing up to the sky, with you arm cocked and ready to throw.
Finally, start pushing with the arm in sequence: chest, shoulder, arm, and hand, remembering to put the shot in a straight line, finishing up tall, watching the release as it "flips" out of your hand.

Q. What to do with the clear arm?
A. As it comes over the top, bring a tensed clear arm in tight to the torso and use it to help block. People tend to over rotate the clear arm and it can lead to throwing out of sector. Also, bringing in the clear arm at the end shortens the radius increasing your speed.

Q.Does the left side contribute?
Yes. Keep the block side stiff and it will keep you up tall, keep you in the circle, and keep you from over rotating. It is like hitting a wall. The faster the block side decelerates, the fasterc the throwing side can/will accelerate.

4) Step Forward Stand Throw
Same starting position as the step back. This time, step forward with the block leg and drop into the power position (described above). Keep your weight over the power leg. Throw as above.

5) Walk Back
Start with your whole body 180 deg. from the direction of the throw, standing up tall, shot touching the neck, and clear arm pointing out to the side, and your left foot further back than the right.(right handed)
NOTE: as a drill, you may start with feet outside of the circle. If, however, you are competing with a walk back, keep it in the circle in practice.
This version involves 3 steps: left right left that bring you in to the power position. As you move across the circle, your lower body rotates 90 deg. forward (eyes back!) creating torque in the trunk. Also you drop you lower body to get low in the power position.
From there, throw as in the standing throw.

6) Glide
Similar start to the walk back. Face the back, right toe touches the back of the circle(right handed). You then CROUCH down and the left leg extends towards the front of the circle and you balance on the right leg. Then drive the left leg hard towards the toeboard and your weight will shift forward and your right toe will come off the ground.
Keep the foot driving low and don't "Mule Kick" as this can cause 2 problems. First it can raise your center of gravity and secondly it can cause you to over glide leaving you crowded near the toe board.
Push off the right heel and and bring your power leg underneath you, right foot lands immediately followed by the left. As you are doing this, your lower body rotates 90 deg. and you should land in the power position. Then
--> clear over the top
--> throw legs first followed by upper body
--> up tall, block with your left side
--> see the release

REMEMBER: Left leg drive gets you across the circle, right leg push puts your leg back under you and the shot.


Throws without an implement.

1) Left leg drive until the right toe comes up.
2) As above and add a little step to bring your leg under you.
3) Phantom glides
4) Power Leg Hops: Hop on your power leg twisting your leg 90 degrees.


1) Throwing out of Sector
This is probably due to overrotion in your throw. Remember to keep things as linear (straight line) as possible. Be especially watchful of your clear arm and don't let it whip around aimlessly. OVER THE TOP

2) Low throws
Two factors: angle and height of release. First make sure you are up tall when you release. keep your stomach muscles tight (try a grunt) so you don't crunch down. Then check to make sure you are releasing the shot put at a 45 deg. angle (its higher than most people first guess). Also make sure your arm follows a 45 deg line throughout the throw through the release point and slightly after ... Many athletes aim up and lower it mid throw.

3) Not watching the release / Lack of focal point
This leads to most shot put injuries, as it threatens your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. Not only that but if you're not watching your release, you will lose control of the shot leading to a mediocre throw as it rolls incorrectly out of your hand. Watching the shot, allows you to fully transfer the power you've built up and transfer it to the shot.

4) Too high in the glide
a) hopping to high as you glide across the circle
b) raising the trunk during the glide
Both of these prevent you from developing max. force by taking some of the momentum away from the direction of the throw. Keep low!!! especially the left drive leg.

5) Blocking / In the bucket
a) Blocking: left foot is further right than the right foot. This prevents the hips from opening up which prevents max. use of the legs.
b) In the bucket: The left foot is way left of the right foot. This prevents you from driving straight over your power leg - a major power outage!!
Use a series of stop and go throws. Have the athlete glide into the power position and stop. Correct if needed (not close to heel(instep)-toe alignment). Stand throw.

6) Shifting Weight Forward
Here, the athlete prematurely shifts the weight forward onto the block leg, often before the left foot has landed. This limits maximum use of leg power.
REMEMBER: You're more powerful on 2 legs then 1. Hold your weight back until left foot contact ten EXPLODE!!!

7) Dropping the elbow when puting.
First off this is a throw, which is illegal. Second off this can lead to a arm injury and frequently does. Always stress "elbows up".