Shot Put

Shot Put Basics

Holding the Shot

  • The shot is held at the base of the fingers not the palm
  • The fingers are slightly spread apart with the thumb for support.
  • The hand will be bent back in the cocked position when holding the shot. It looks like you are caring a pizza.

Neck placement

  • Raise the shot above your head
  • Lower the shot straight down until it is under your jaw
  • Push the shot into your neck
  • Lift your elbow parallel to the floor. Don’t squeeze your elbow towards your back
  • Check to see that your thumb is pointing down towards your clavicle
  • The palm should be pointing towards the throwing direction

Delivery of the shot

  • Eyes to the ceiling
  • Punch the shot away from the neck
  • Keep the elbow high at all times. Lowering the elbow can cause the shot to be thrown like a baseball and could result in an injury
  • Finish the punch with a flip of the wrist
  • The left side of the body will be stopped and locked to help form the block
  • The left arm will be tucked close to the side of the body

Drills to teach Delivery

Wrist Flips

    • Stand facing the sector
    • Starts with the shot above his head in their throwing hand
    • Flip the shot out of their hand

Two Arm Puts

    • Stand facing the sector
    • Place the shot in both hands in chest pass position
    • Check that the hands are behind the shot and the thumbs are down
    • Push the shot out with both hands, make sure the elbows stay high
    • Flip the wrists at the end of the throw
    • This throw can also be done with a medicine ball

Arm Strikes

    • Stand tall facing the throwing direction
    • Place the shot against their neck
    • Sky the eyes to the ceiling and push the shot away from their neck focusing on driving through the shot towards the throwing area
    • Flip the wrist at the end

Bent Knee Throws

    • Face the throwing direction with bent knees
    • Place the shot against their neck
    • Sky the eyes to the ceiling and push the shot away from his neck focusing on driving through the shot towards the throwing area
    • While the thrower is pushing the shot out they will push up with the legs extending the hips out

Power Position

  • Stand perpendicular to the throwing direction
  • The feet position will be shoulder width apart or a little wider with left foot slightly behind the right foot (toe heel relationship)
  • The right foot will be perpendicular to the throwing direction
  • Be in an athletic position
  • Shift 80% percent of their weight onto the right leg
  • Twist their upper body completely opposite the throwing direction. This position from up above will look like an X
  • The chest, knee and toe should be in line with each other
  • Places the shot into their neck
  • The left arm will be extended and out from the body with a right angle relationship to the right elbow

Throwing from the Power Position

  • Over exaggerate the use of the legs in the throw especially the hips
  • Sequence of the throw will be legs - hips - back – arm
  • Push the weight from right leg to the left leg in an upwards direction
  • When driving up with your legs your right heel (hips) needs to be turned out
  • There will be a stretch reflex reaction between your upper body and lower body
  • The upper body will start coming around
  • As your upper body comes around sweep the left arm around and then bring it tight to your body
  • Stop the left side of your body to aid in accelerating the shot
  • Deliver the shot as mentioned above

Drills for Throwing in the Power Position


    • The athlete faces the sector with toes pointed straight
    • Place shot against the neck
    • Bend the knees
    • Twist the body to the right and down
    • Extend legs and hips then throw as explained in the bent knee drill

1-2 Drill

    • The thrower gets into the power position with a shot against the neck
    • On the command of "one" he opens his left arm to the throwing direction and turns his heel out. Check to see if the shot has stayed in place at the back of the ring
    • On the command of "two" the thrower completes the throw – slingshot effect

Sample Warm Ups

Pre-Practice Dynamic Warm Ups

  • 2 x 30m butt kicks
  • 2 x 30m walking lunges
  • 2 x 30m high knees
  • 2 x 30m backward run
  • 2 x 30m shuffle
  • 2 x 30m carioca
  • 2 x 30m skip
  • 2 x 30m A skip
  • 2 x 30m step turns
  • 2 x 30m 75% sprint (good form)
  • 2 x 30m accelerators ( accelerate hard the first 10m, coast last 20m

Pre-Practice Static Warm Ups

  • Neck, arms, torso rotations
  • Triceps stretch
  • Hands above head stretch
  • Side stretch
  • Groin Stretch
  • Toe Touches
  • Quad Stretch

Pre-Throw Warm Ups

Soft toss

    • Softly throwing the shot put using correct form. Focus on thumbs down and flicking wrist.

Kneeling Soft Toss

    • Same as soft toss just on a knee.

Kneeling Soft Toss With Rotation

    • Same as kneeling soft toss but with torso rotation. Should be nice and smooth.

Throws Warm Ups

Over the head backwards (2-3 reps)

    • Stand on toeboard. Focus on exploding hips upward and long range of motion.

Between the legs forward (2-3 Reps)

    • Stand on or in front of toeboard. Focus on exploding hips upward and long range of motion.

Square stance throw (2-3 reps)

    • Toes touching toeboard. Fire shot from the shoulder without using legs. Focus in release.

Staggered stance throw

    • Opposite foot forward. Fire shot out from the shoulder. Focus on explosion and release.

Standing throws

Shot Put Technique Videos

These are some great videos about how to throw the shot put and on shot put glide technique.

Shot Put Drills

Rear Overhead Throws

This is a fantastic power building drill, but it will also help the thrower with his or her balance and overall conditioning.

Setup – Each thrower should have a shot put in order to execute this drill.

Procedure – Conditioning is important for any field event, and shot put is no different. This drill works on the conditioning and the strength of shot putters.

The thrower will grasp the shot put with both hands, and the legs will be spread about shoulder width apart. They will slowly lift the shot put with the arms in front of them, while dropping the body into a squat position. While continuing to get down to a full squat the shot put is once again brought back down between the legs.

The shot put should be the furthest back on the down swing when the thrower is in the deepest part of the crouch. At this point, the thrower then thrusts up and back, swinging the arms (with the shot), up over the head and releasing it into the air over the head.

Many throwers find this drill quite enjoyable and it can be used as a warm up, or whenever you need a good conditioning drill.

Wrist Flips

Getting used to the proper extension and release is the final touch to put on the shot put throw

Setup – All the athlete needs is a shot put.

Procedure – The thrower will stand at the front edge of the throwing circle, exactly where they would be releasing the shot put in competition. They will be holding the shot put against their jaw in the position just prior to releasing the shot put.

Then, instead of thrusting forward, the thrower will slowly extend their arm up at a 45 degree angle and then flip the shot put off the end of their fingertips. This simulates how they should let go of the shot put in competition.

This works on good trajectory, and it also works on the release point and technique.

Starting Depth Drill

Getting the right depth to start the shot put is important as it builds the right foundation to get a good push off.

Setup – You can do this drill with a shot put, and any open area for the thrower

Procedure – This is an excellent early season drill to run, as it gets the players back into the rhythm and technique of throwing the shot.

The thrower will stand on a flat surface, in a position similar to what they would be doing at the back of the circle. The right foot will be flat, and the left foot will be behind it to the left slightly and only the toe is touching. Bend at the hip with the right (if this is the throwing side) hand holding the shot put in the proper position near the jaw. The left arm dangles loosely, nearly touching the ground if the thrower can lean that far. The lower the lean, the better. If the athlete can touch the ground this is optimal.

There is a slight bend at the knees to go along with the hip bend. Coaches should watch their athletes for proper technique.

Left Leg Start

A good left leg balance and then tuck is essential to begin the throw

Setup – This can be run with or without the shot put

Procedure – The thrower will lean slightly to start, with their left arm dangling. With the weight on the right leg, the left leg sticks out parallel to the ground so a good balance is reached. This position allows a deep stretch which helps for when the thrower thrusts through the release.

Once balanced, the left leg coils under to the starting position, and then the thrower begins their approach to throwing the shot put.

Obstacle Release

Getting the right trajectory for the shot put is essential in getting the most distance out of a throw.

Setup – You will need to set up an obstacle (two poles with a stick across) that is set to the height that is optimum for the height of the athlete.

Procedure – The angle of trajectory of the shot put after release has a great deal to do with the overall length of the throw. If you are throwing at a lower trajectory, the shot will not travel as far as it should.

An ideal trajectory is probably around 40 to 45 degrees from the release point. Set the obstacle up so the thrower must heave the shot, just clearing this predetermined height.

This is also a good repetition drill for both power and proper thrust and release techniques.

With repetition during the season, and when trajectory becomes a problem, this drill is going to remind the thrower where they need to be for the best throw.

Seated Throw

Building power and using it with the proper arm and shoulder motion is essential for good throws.

Setup – A stable chair that can support the weight of the athlete, the shot put, and the motion to throw the shot put from the chair.

Procedure – The thrower should hold the shot as they normally would just prior to the release. The bottom should be firmly planted on the chair during this drill, and the legs should be spread far enough to hold the body stable during the drill.

The elbow should be kept high during the delivery. Coaches should watch for proper release point and the right trajectory when the thrower is delivering the shot put.

Keep track of the change in distance of the seated throw in order to track overall progress.

This is a great shoulder, arm and core builder, and it also allows the thrower to focus on the shoulder and arm action of the release.

Distance Obstacles

Challenging the thrower to try and reach a certain distance is a good way to help them put all of the tools together to make the best throws

Setup – Instead of putting up an obstacle for height, now the thrower needs to meet a distance obstacle. Set up a distance obstacle that is not beyond what the thrower can reach, but far enough that they are challenged to meet that distance.

Procedure – When you set the obstacle out, set it at a point you know the thrower can reach, but make it near their personal best. Or, you can use this drill as a progression for the thrower. Start it at a certain point, and then every week or two during the season, you will move the obstacle further away.

As long as they continue surpassing the obstacles, coaches can continue moving the obstacle further away.

Strapped arm Throw

Understanding the importance of the entire motion and thrust from the rest of the body will help the overall success of your athletes throws.

Setup– A bandage or other (comfortable) strapping should be wrapped over the forearm of the throwing arm, and underneath the armpit of the non-throwing arm. The thrower should have the shot put in a normal position.

Procedure – It is important for the thrower to understand how crucial the entire motion from the crouch, hip swivel, trunk rotation, right through to the throw and the release is. The thrower will not reach their potential without using the entire thrust and power that is generated from the toes through to the fingertips.

With the bandage on, the thrower will not be able to use their arm to throw the shot put, so they must rely on a tremendous surge from their bodies and the shoulder rotation. This thrust is ever crucial if the thrower does not want the shot put to end up on their toes.

The drill is going to help build strength, but it will also teach the thrower the importance of having their entire body as a part of the throwing motion.