Category Archives: Shot Put

Teaching Shot Put: A Pirate Ship Adventure

A Fun Analogy to Help Kids Learn the Basics of Shot Putting

To make learning shot put more engaging, take the kids on a pirate ship adventure and relate the skill to firing a cannonball.

Have the kids imagine themselves as a daring pirate, firing cannonballs from a mighty ship.

Let’s explore the key aspects of a basic shot putting action and how they can fit into a pirate ship scenario.

The Phases of Shot Put: Ready, Aim, Fire!

Imagine shot putting as having three phases on your pirate ship: ready, aim, and fire!

1. Ready!

In this phase, the kids focus on the grip and the positioning of the shot. They hold the shot on the base of their fingers, avoiding contact with their palm. Holding the shot off their palm allows athletes to push it effectively off their fingers during the throw. Three fingers should be spread evenly behind the shot. The little finger and thumb rest on either side. Think of it as an ice cream scoop in a cone!

Additionally, the kids should position the shot against their neck, just below their jaw. The cannonball is now loaded.

2. Aim!

As they transition to the aim position, the kids envision themselves standing on the ship, eyeing the horizon where their cannonball will land. Beginners can adopt a front-on stance. This stance simplifies the process for young athletes, allowing them to focus on fewer technical elements.  They point the belly button and big toes towards the target. Their hand should be poised behind the shot, ready to launch it toward the open sea or a designated target.

3. Fire!

Now comes the moment to fire the shot! The fire phase is all about executing a strong and forceful push of the shot toward the target or horizon. Athletes should emphasize a robust push off the fingers, ensuring the hand follows the shot’s initial trajectory.

The “Ready! Aim! Fire!” analogy provides a series of simple and helpful coaching cues to kids as they familiarise themselves with the basic phases of a standing shot put.

Further Reading

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

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Darren 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, 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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