3 Common Shot Put Grip Errors

Mistakes Kids Make When Holding a Shot

Ideally, a basic shot put grip that is suitable for kids should look something like this:

The shot sitting in the hand should resemble a scoop of ice cream sitting in a cone.

Where Kids Often Go Wrong

There are 3 common mistakes that kids make when they are learning to hold a shot.  None of these errors are against the rules but they can severely impair the control the child has of the implement, which may lead to other rule infringements. These grip errors will also limit the force that the child can apply to the shot, which will affect  the distance they will be able to launch the implement.

Error 1: Sitting the Shot On the Palm of the Hand

Here, the kids are wrapping their entire hand and fingers around the shot. Doing so makes it impossible  for the young athletes to fully extend the wrist and fingers to impart a final propulsion on the shot at release. This will severely diminish the speed and power with which the shot can be delivered.

Error 2: Holding the Shot Too High in the Fingers

Here, the kids are often trying to keep the shot off their palm but take it too far.
The issue will be difficulty in controlling the shot and the danger of the implement slipping out of the hand.

Error 3: Tucking Fingers Under the Shot

Here the young athlete tucks two of their fingers under the shot, usually leaving the implement gripped by just the thumb, index, and middle finger. This will lead to a lack of control of the shot and an impaired ability to launch the shot off the fingers


In summary, shot put grip errors that need to be identified and avoided are:

Over to You!

Look out for these errors next time you are observing kids shot putting. See if you can identify and correct them.

Further reading

Coaching Young Athletes E- Book:

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

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.

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 TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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