For track and field athletes who are dedicated to the sport of shot put, often question about throwing techniques. Is the glide or spin more efficient? Which technique will help me throw farther? As a track coach, I have spent several years researching the topic and have discovered that technique is dependent upon each individual athlete. The athlete has to be comfortable in their technique and feel confident in their physical abilities. Here are a few tips on deciding which technique is best:
- Best for beginners or the inexperienced a thlete.
- Ideal for taller athletes.
- Good for experienced throwers.
- Works well for shorter athletes.
- Best for those lacking in strength department.
- Athlete should not transition to the spin technique until they can successfully drill in the 'South African' or full spin throw as far as they glide in practice.
According to Babbitt (2006), improving the throwing distance is dependent upon many variables such as execution of proper technique, power, practice habits, and the individual athlete.
Babbit's scale of added distance to power position throw
10% or more
13.4% and above
Things to remember:
- In order to make the transition from glide to spin, the athlete must have good feet (quick), great body awareness, and most importantly balance.
- The spin technique is difficult to execute which allows more room for error.
- Perfecting the spin can take years; feeling comfortable with the footwork will take time.
- There are world-record holders performing both techniques. Decide which technique best suits you.