There’s A Technical Window To Every Throw

By Coach Erik Johnson

If you follow me on YouTube at Arete Throws Nation TV, then you’ve heard me talk about keeping your throwing technique in “the window”.

ok, not that kind of window….

The “Window” is a term I use in the Throwing Chain Reaction® System, and it refers to your technical positions and a range in which you are in a correct position. 

For instance, at the start of a throw, Pillar 1, we’re trying to create separation to set up the stretch reflex.

As you set up, the body has to be set in a specific degree:

  • The angle of the chest,
  • the hips,
  • and the knees all have to be in a certain point.

Then there’s a window…

  • If you’re too bent over or the chest is too far forward, it pushes the hips back.
  • If the shoulders are too far back, it pushes the hips too far forward

Kinda like Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears-

Not too hot, not too cold….you’re looking for JUST RIGHT!

It’s basically a counter balance thing…

  • If you’re just standing straight up, and you bend your chest forward without bending your knees, you’re going to be too bent over.
  • If you bend your shoulders back without sitting on top of your hips, you’re going to fall backwards.

As you go through the TCR of a throw, you will see that each of the 6 pillars has a window.

Speaking of Pillar 1 and the window, a lot people debate where the position of the left arm should be, so I will use it as my example:

The left arm is the balance arm in the rotational throws- rotational shot put & the discus throw.

It’s the balance position and it leads to the block, or as we call it, the block arm at the finish.

So, the left arm is the balance arm from the start—from pillar 1 to pillar 6.

I can go even farther, and say that it’s not only the balance from pillar 1 thru 5, but at pillar 6, it becomes the block arm, stopping the momentum.

The point is, as the left arm moves through the rotational throw, if it is too high or too low, odds are it’s going to be out of the window, and this leaves valuable distance behind. 

Inside the window, there is a certain amount of room where you can move that arm up and down and side to side.


  • if it opens too much on the side, then the thrower is too rotational.
  • If it stays closed too long, the athlete can’t generate speed into the middle.

As you can see, there’s an optimal window of where the left arm is going to be working.

Now, here’s where the throws coaching gets more advanced….

… there are stylistic differences per athlete, which is very important to understand!  You must know the difference between style and technique….

If you are a TCR® member, you know this VERY WELL!!!!

I talk about it a lot in our courses, and in the TECH LAB.

So that adds another layer to all of this.

The window allows the athlete to stay more level in the control pattern and throw more consistent.

If you misinterpret style with technique, and start adjusting technique outside the window, then everything start derailing.

It’s one of the things that changes the orbit and the radius, but if we are moving that arm through the window correctly, we’re going to move through the throw more easily and more correctly.

If we are outside of that window, we’re going to be working against ourselves and working against the physics, and it’s going to take longer for the athlete to develop the positions because they’re always working against themselves.

Are you still with me?

Below I have a great video that explains the window with the Entry Arm Action, check it out!