Shot Put and Discus Techniques

The other day I did a mini throws clinic for my Arete throwers (those that train with me every week). I decided to do it after coming off a series of Arete Throwing Chain Reaction Throws Camps I did over the last 4 weeks in preparation for the upcoming season. I thought it would be a good day to review with my current throwers and assistant coaches the importance of technique, and how important it is to truly understand the science of the throws.drills tcr camps 2

As track season is quickly approaching, many of my throwers have been involved in other sports and haven’t been able to focus on their throws training. It was for this reason I felt it most important to review technique preseason.

Of the handful of throwers I had yesterday, 2 of them just finished their other sports: one was volleyball and another was football. So I pulled up a digital presentation that I give in the Throwing Chain Reaction camps, and the focus was on the 6 pillars of the throw.

atn throws camp lecture, lolThe 6 pillars are built on top of a foundation of science, specifically Physics and Biomechanics: distance and displacement, speed and velocity, acceleration, vectors and scalars, kinetics (dynamics), torque, angular speed, and angular kinetics.

  As you can see, you don’t just go out to the ring and throw it as hard as you can! And if you want to get better fast, realize that the pillars are dictated by the science.

 I felt it was important to have the coaches and the throwers really review and understand these 6 pillars, and as a result, it turned out to be one of the best throws training days in quite awhile! I saw the light bulbs go on and the head nods ensured me these critical elements were making sense.

student of the throwsIt just goes to show you how important it is for coaches and throwers to constantly remain focused on what the main objectives are with the throws, and it’s all based on the principles of science!  Taking the time to go over each detail of proper positions and angles resulted much better technical movement, and much more mental focus; better than I had seen in weeks.

Focusing and reviewing in-depth the 6 pillars of the Throwing Chain Reaction reminded each thrower you have to be a student of the science, and base your technique on the science and not opinions or some nonsense from a video online.

 If an online source is not blinding you with science, then they do not understand the throws…period!

Taking the time to review technique, the various stages of the throw, and then going forward to apply this refreshed knowledge on drills and wall throws equaled a very productive day!

For the coaches, it allowed them to see which part of the 6 pillars requires the most work for each thrower, equaling a more productive, and effective training session. As a member of, or as an athlete who physically comes to Arête Strength for throws coaching, we discuss in great detail, each of the 6 pillars of the throws, and then apply each pillar in drills and in the ring.

6pillarsThe point of all this is the day was a very productive day because each coach was refreshed on the 6 pillars and the athletes had a clear picture of the throws and worked on it!

Whenever a thrower doesn’t clearly understand the pillars or can’t perform any one or other common pillar, it makes the coach’s job a lot harder. The thrower will likely take longer to get better. It’s the coach’s job to apply the proper drills to address those various pillar weaknesses. It’s not about working harder on misinformation, or poor technique. For the athlete, to be able to recognize their own weaknesses, and areas that need improvement will carry with them throughout their career as a thrower.

Matt Katnik-2014 Ca State Runner UpAs a coach, or a thrower puts it all back together, the Throwing Chain Reaction is a sequence in a throw that basically happens just under 2 seconds! Once all the pieces fit together, the discus thrower or the shot putter will hit that extra gear, excel to the next level, and continue to improve RAPIDLY!

In my upcoming blog I will be talking about each pillar in more detail- so stay tuned!

Throw far!

– Coach Johnson