Shot Put Challenge: Can You Pick The Errors?

Can You Find Any Technique Faults In This Shot Put Photo?

The Challenge

Look closely at this photo. Don’t scroll to the answers yet!

Can you see any basic shot putting technique errors? If so, remember them or write them down.

Let’s see how closely we agree.

Find the Faults Shot Put Resized

The Errors

Three errors stand out to me. Each of them is extremely common with kids.

Error 1: Shot Away From Neck

Find the Faults Shot Put Neck Resize

There appears to be a gap between the shot and the thrower’s neck. This can result in:

  • A foul throw being called by the officials.
  • A loss of control of the shot.
  • A significant loss of power applied to the shot.


  • Teach kids to lock or tuck the shot in under their jaw against their windpipe.
  • Have kids hold a small ribbon or similar item in place between the shot and their neck. It will help them to be conscious of keeping the shot in place.
  • Stick a piece of tape on the shot and tell the kids to keep the tape against their neck.
  • Coach the kids to keep their throwing elbow up. It will help them to lock the shot in against the neck.

Error 2: Shot Sitting On Palm

Find the Faults Shot Put Grip Resize

The shot appears to be sitting on the palm of the thrower’s hand. This will make it very difficult for the thrower to propel the shot off their fingers on the release of the implement.


Teach the kids to hold the shot like a scoop of ice cream sitting in a cone. The shot sits on the base of the fingers, off the palm, with the middle three fingers behind the shot and the thumb and little finger to either side.

Error 3: Elbow Down

Find the Faults Shot Put Elbow Resize

The elbow of the throwing arm is being held too low. This can contribute to:

  • The shot losing contact with the neck.
  • A loss of power to drive the shot forward.
  • The elbow getting in front of the shot. This will lead to a throwing action rather than a putting action.


NOTE: The elbow should be held up, but not too high. If the elbow is too high, the ability to drive the shot upward as well as forward is lost.


Copy of Find the Faults Shot Put Resize

How close did we get? Did you pick any other errors? Do you disagree with any of my observations? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the contact details below.

Photo credits Wavebreakmedia from Getty Images Pro via Canva.

Further reading

E- Book:

How To Teach Shot Put To Young Athletes E-Book (plus bonus cheat sheet) 


10 Biggest Mistakes Young Athletes Make in the Shot Put

Shot Put: How to Lock It In Right From The Start

Use Ice Cream to Help Young Athletes Learn the Shot Put Grip

An Elbow Cue That Will Make You A Better Shot Put Coach


Complete Book of Throws from Booktopia (Australia & New Zealand)

Complete Book of Throws from Amazon US Store

There are links on this page from which Coaching Young Athletes can earn a small commission. This adds no cost to you but helps to keep this blog sustainable. I really appreciate if you do purchase through my links. Thanks for your support. Darren

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

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