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?
What did you come up with? Let’s see if we match.
I am very impressed with the Smurf’s excellent alignment of the javelin.
The javelin is being held close to the Smurf’s temple.
The tip of the javelin is pointed in the direction of the throw.
Controlling the point of the javelin is one of the most important parts of javelin throwing and should be emphasised when coaching young athletes.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- The Smurf may be displaying other technical faults that I have not highlighted. Can you identify any? Let me know if you do!
- 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.
Complete Book of Throws from Booktopia (Australia & New Zealand)
Complete Book of Throws from Amazon US Store
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Darren 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 Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Anchor or via email.