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Shot Put (Further Development)

The Power Position and Release Technique

Warm-Up Freeze ball, building arm strength, circle dynamic stretch
Skill Development The power position (stance and force), technique (release)
Wrap-Up Game Handball
Printable PDF of this session


Freeze Ball

You will need cones and/or boundary markers and a whistle. Divide a bounded playing field into two halves with a goal at each end. Divide runners into two teams. A team receives one point each time they get the ball in the goal. To score a goal, team members must pass the ball to one another. Whoever has the ball is frozen and cannot run—they must pass the ball in order to move forward. Interceptions are allowed, but steals are not.

To make the game more challenging, you can require players to pass the ball to three different players before scoring; every player on a team to pass at least one before a goal; players to pass the ball within five seconds.

Building Arm Strength (5-10 minutes)

Have students form a circle around you, and lead them in arm strength exercises.

See the Supplementary Topic on Muscular Strength and Endurance for appropriate activities.

Circle Dynamic Stretch (5-10 minutes)

Have students form a circle around you, and lead them in dynamic stretches.

See the Supplementary Topic on Stretching for appropriate activities.

Stance and Force

You will need cones and/or boundary markers, measuring tape, and shot puts (4.4-8.8 lb, depending on the kids). Athletes should devote 10 minutes of practice setting up in the power position. Athletes should work on these important components to a proper stance during this time:

  • Standing and positioning right foot perpendicular to the throwing direction
  • Standing with the stronger leg to the back
  • Positioning the feet shoulder-width apart, with dominant foot slightly behind the other
  • Standing with chest, knee, and toes in line with each other
  • Placing shot against the neck
  • Extending non-throwing arm out at a right angle to elbow of opposite arm


Athletes should spend 20 minutes practicing shot put in groups. The position of the shot hand is similar to that of the hand during a chest pass in basketball. The steps of a proper release are:

  1. Push the shot from the body with the wrist cocked.
  2. Extend the arm upward and outward toward the landing area.
  3. When you let go of the shot, flick the wrist with the thumb down and pinkie up. The elbow should be kept high and behind the shot during the release. Keep the head back and focus the eyes upward. You will jump off the ground slightly when you release the shot and land by the thrower's cone with both feet pointed in the direction of the "throw."
  4. Try to release the shot 1 or 2 feet before the cone so you have room to follow through without fouling. Keep in mind that the shot must be "thrown" from the shoulder using only one hand and in close proximity to the chin during the "throw."

Remind students to push the shot and not throw it like a baseball. Encourage them to imitate elite shot putters by making a loud noise when releasing the shot. It will help them develop focused, explosive force.

Precision Throw

Athletes get in to groups of as big as four. Set up four hoops for each group, one behind the other, spacing them one meter apart. Each group should have bean bags, small balls, 4.4-8.8 lb shot puts (depending on the age group).

One at a time, have athletes practice throwing the bean bags into the hoops. Then have them throw the small ball, followed by the 4.4-5.5 lb shot put. Use the 4.4 lb shot put to see which hoop each athlete can reach. Award points for reaching different hoops.

Wrap-up Game


You will need cones, goals and small balls. Split your students into groups of two or three. Set up an area about the size of a basketball court. During a 10- to 15-minute game, athletes must try to keep the ball in the area and off the ground by passing it to their teammates with underhand throws. Trying to get the ball in the goal. For a variation on this game, you can place hoops at two ends of the square and have teams pass the ball down to their hoop to earn a point.

Cool Down

Light Jog (2-5 minutes)

Lead the group on a light jog.

Static Stretching (3-5 minutes)

Have students form a circle around you and lead them in static stretches.

Please see the Supplementary Session on Stretching for additional stretches.

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