Tag Archives: Parenting

How Kids Can Learn Basic Shot Put Skills At Home

3 Fun Backyard Shot Putting Activities For Children

Check out these three Little Athletics NSW videos that help kids learn and practise the basic skills of shot put at home.

A handy summary with some additional comments can be found below each video.

Video 1: Shot Put Basic FUNdamentals 1: Palm Out Thumb Down

Video Summary & Comments

Make a “Sock Put”

Roll some socks into a ball. This creates a safe and manageable implement for kids.

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Palm Out, Thumb Down

When the shot is released, the thumb of the throwing hand should be pointed down. A  “palm out, thumb down”  delivery position indicates that the elbow has been kept up behind the shot, helping to drive it forward. It also makes it less likely that the shot will fall away from the neck and result in a “foul” throw,

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Throw to Targets

Rehearse the skill by “sock-putting” to outdoor or indoor targets – hoops, saucepans, the sink, a waste paper basket. This will keep it interesting and challenging for kids.

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Video 2: Shot Put Basic FUNdamentals 2: Pushing a Rainbow

Video Summary & Comments

Aim “Over the Rainbow”

When preparing to deliver a shot, point the non-throwing hand forward and up at an angle of about 45 degrees i.e”over a rainbow”. While more advanced athletes should be encouraged to “wrap” their non-throwing arm around their body, this is not necessary for beginners.

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Use Socks to Make a “Fox Tail”

Construct a fox tail by pushing a “sock put” to the bottom of another sock. This is another wonderful home shot putting implement.

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Throw to Targets

Place three targets in a line on the ground at increasing distances. If you land the fox tail in the first target, progress to the second, then the third.

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As an alternative, play “Hoop Race”. Place a hoop as a target on the ground. Flip the hoop once end over end towards a finish line every time you land the fox tail in the target. Try racing against a friend.

Video 3: Shot Put FUNdamentals 3: Chin Knee Toe

Video Summary & Comments

Chin Knee Toe Position

Also known as the “power position”. Start with the chin above the knee and the knee above the toe. This places the body in a strong starting position.

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Throw From Chin Knee Toe

The standing throw action can be described by the rhyme: “Chin knee toe, make a bow, watch it go”.

  • “Chin knee toe” – The starting “power position”.
  • “Make a bow” – The pre-delivery “block” position.
  • “Watch it go” – The “tall” and balanced delivery position.

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Break The World Record

How many of your aggregate throws will it take you to beat the current men’s or women’s world record?

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Over to You!

Try some of these ideas at home with the kids. I would love to hear how it goes. Do you have any great home “shot putting” ideas? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the contact details below.

Further reading

Little Athletics NSW website

Coaching Young Athletes E- Book:

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


Shot Put Release: Can You Pick The Error?

Shot Put Release Hand Position Video Tutorial

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

What is a “Block” in the Throws and How Do I Teach It?

10 Biggest Mistakes Young Athletes Make in the Shot Put

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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