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Shot Putt Coaching Information - Synopsis by Sandy Robertson

Giving the shot as much range as possible within and without the confines of the circle itself is key.

This involves :-

Keeping the shot low, and above or behind the toes in the rear half of the circle during the power position [circle-centre]

Following the shot out as far as possible beyond the stop board.

The first part is easy enough, but the second requires a lot of timing to stay within the rules.

The biomechanical theory is that there is an action/reaction during the hit i.e. if that little 4kg shot can be hit hard, suddenly and violently, at the release, it may provide enough reaction for your whole body to be thrown back into the circle .

Of course, there are mathematical difficulties regarding the small mass of the shot versus your own greater mass, highlighting the problem of staying in.

So there are several more tricks to apply:-

Your left side if firmly braced, set in concrete from left toe to left arm, which is firmly bent, fist above ear.

The right side of your body has just thrown itself violently up over your braced left side [right hip over left]

In the throwing sequence, there’s been a constantly increasing acceleration from active, turning right hip, through ground-foot-ankle- knee-hip-chest-shoulder-elbow-wrist-fingers, the 4kg load feeling lighter and lighter as it’s accelerated. The final ‘hit’ against the surface of the shot should halt your forward progress for a split second.

See the throw through to the very end, then slowly begin the recovery:-

The left toes are pressed against the front of the stop board near the centre [just left].

The right hip, moving at maximum speed, has to be stopped by the natural follow-on of your right foot.

It comes in at its own speed to kick the stop board near the centre [just right].

This has the effect of stopping the right hip in its attempt to follow out.

You’re now in an overbalance situation, which is usually stopped by lowering your centre of gravity.

So you bend your knees to prevent toppling.

However, if you’ve really followed the shot out, it won’t be enough.

So you have one final trick:-

Your left foot must repeat the journey it took to the front, but in reverse.

That is, it must be lifted sideways back towards the circle centre, then lifted up to knee height.

This should finally stop your forward momentum.

Note that the timing has to be learnt, and it’s a much slower action than might be imagined.

It should follow on naturally from a big hit.

Hit – Follow through outside the circle – Right foot comes through and kicks the stop board- Hip stops –

Knees bend to lower C of G – Weight on right foot against stop board –

Remove left foot sideways back into circle centre – Raise left foot up to knee height –

Take C of G back behind stop board- Balance to finish.

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