Field Events: Shot Put - The Towel Drill Develops Power Across the Shot Circle

Field Events: Shot Put - The Towel Drill
Develops Power Across the Shot Circle

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

In the shot put glide technique, the initial momentum for the shot begins with a powerful backward thrust of the drive leg which projects the thrower across a shot circle.

This initial push-off is important because it increases the horizontal momentum of the shot - the stronger the push, the better the throw.

The "towel drill" will help throwers improve their initial push-off. It forces them to exaggerate this movement in practice, developing extra power for competitive throws.

Performing the Towel Drill
With your athletes in their normal starting position (facing the back of the circle), place a towel 3-4 inches from the heel of their drive foot - the foot that's in contact with the ground and provides initial propulsion across the circle.

They then perform a backward glide across the circle, but as they do, they must push themselves up and over the towel. This will require extra explosiveness as they first push off.

Emphasis in this phase of the shot put technique is on driving the hips up and across the circle. Placing a towel behind their drive foot will help them to focus on this task.

1. Sandy Burke, Shot Put and Discus Throw. Track and Field Quarterly Review, Fall 1988.
2. Mark Harsha, "Basic Shot Put Technique, Everything Track & Field.

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