Simplify The Shot Put Learning Process With This Visual Aid
A challenging aspect of teaching shot put to kids is helping them find the correct initial foot placement for the standing throw. Without a sound preliminary stance, it’s difficult for young athletes to achieve an effective delivery position. That’s where rubber ground dots can come in handy.
Rubber ground dots are small, circular, non-slip rubber discs that can be placed on the ground to help athletes identify their correct foot position for the initial shot put throwing stance. These dots are a useful tool for coaches. They provide a visual aid that helps athletes understand the correct foot position.
The initial throwing stance is important as it sets the foundation for the entire throw. Once a child is ready to perform the classic side-on starting position, their feet should be shoulder-width apart, and slightly off-set, not parallel. This means that the heel of the foot furthest from the stop board lines up with the toes of the foot that is nearer the stop board.
This “open” stance will allow the young athlete to rotate their back foot, hips, and torso effectively to the front during the throw. A closed stance makes this far more difficult, hampering the ability to rotate fully and often resulting in a misdirected or cross-body throw.
Using rubber ground dots can help young athletes find their correct foot position quickly and easily. Place the dots on the ground in the correct position, and have your athletes stand on them, making sure their feet are in the correct position. Ensure they are comfortable and balanced and adjust if necessary.
Using the ground dots as a visual aid lessens the need for a lengthy explanation and reduces the demands of the kids’ working memories. By placing the dots on the ground in the correct position, athletes can see exactly where they should be standing. Other visual cues – such as chalk markings – can be used in place of the dots. The advantage of using the ground dots is they are easily moveable if an adjustment to the stance is needed, or if used with multiple young athletes who require slightly different foot spacings.
Using rubber ground dots in shot put training is a valuable tool for coaches to help young athletes master the preparatory stance. With a solid foundation in foot positioning, young athletes can more easily achieve a sound throwing position. By incorporating this simple teaching strategy, coaches can simplify the learning process and help kids take the guesswork out of finding the correct foot position.
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 coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.