This Will Make You Laugh And Learn About Javelin

What This Little Blue Figurine Can Help Us Learn About Javelin Throwing

This may be first-ever article that has analysed the javelin technique of a Smurf.

Look at the image below.

What is good about the technique? Can you pick any major faults?

Smurf Javelin side View Blog

What did you come up with? Let’s see if we match.

The Good

Javelin Alignment

I am very impressed with the Smurf’s excellent alignment of the javelin.

Smurf Javelin Alignment Side View Blog

The javelin is being held close to the Smurf’s temple.

Smurf Javelin Front View

The tip of the javelin is pointed in the direction of the throw.

Smurf Javelin Rear View

Controlling the point of the javelin is one of the most important parts of javelin throwing and should be emphasised when coaching young athletes.

The Not-So-Good

Back Foot Position

Assuming that the Smurf is in its delivery stride, we are seeing a fault that is common amongst young athletes – the back foot is pointed away from the direction of the throw.

Smurf Javelin side View back foot Blog

This will most likely lead to the Smurf losing approach speed in the delivery stride. It will also make it more difficult for the Smurf to drive its hips around to the front as the javelin is delivered. Both of these factors will negatively affect the force of the blocking action and the speed of release of the javelin.

Correction

If we imagine the throwing direction being at 12 o’clock, ideally the back foot should land facing at least 10 o’clock and then pivot to 12 o’clock to drive the hips around to the front.

Coaching Cues

Instruct young athletes to land with their back foot pointed at a target or between two targets (placed at 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock) in an effort to align the foot in the desired position. The target/s may be something in the natural environment (e.g. a tree or trees) or something positioned by the coach (e.g. a witches hat or hats).

Follow-Up Tasks

  1. The Smurf may be displaying other technical faults that I have not highlighted. Can you identify any? Let me know if you do!
  2. Watch a young novice athlete perform a a javelin throw. How is their javelin alignment? Which way does their back foot face in their delivery stride? I would love to hear about what you see. You can let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.

Further reading

How to Introduce Javelin to Young Athletes

10 of the Biggest Mistakes Young Athletes Make When Throwing a Javelin

How to Control the Point of the Javelin


If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.


20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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