Track and Field Throwers

written by Scott Cappos, USATF Level 3 Coach
Recently, I watched a preview for a show on A and E about a thrower having problems with drugs, which is an unfortunate situation. They showed her throw for about ½ second and I told my wife I knew who the thrower was just by that small glimpse of her throw. That surprised her.

However, I can name most any thrower by a quick glance, especially the older throwers from the 1970’s until the early 1990’s. Am I some kind of freak? Well, maybe; but I watched hours and hours of video and read 100’s of articles on the shot put and discus from high school to the present.

As track and field athletes and coaches, can you see a video and know the thrower, plus other irrelevant information?

This, like my ability to remember numbers, which was great before cell phones, is a skill of little practical use.


glide shot put throw

I usually ask my throwers to Google a name of a thrower to review and then, we can discuss the technique the next day at practice. So, maybe it is not a totally useless skill.

My throwers also play imitation games to “guess the thrower” by mimicking their favorite track and field athletes.  This might be a fun game for shot put and discus throwers.

The point? Well, I feel the better a thrower understands the technique of past and current greats, the better they can look at their own technique and have input into possible changes.

Technique changes should always be a collaborative effort between the coach and athlete in all track and field training.


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